COMPANIES

French wind power generator reviews business ambitions

Theolia of France, one of Europe’s leading producers of electricity from wind, has announced it is to scale down its business ambitions and reduce costs, to focus on cash generation amid the on-going global financial crisis.

A strategy review has already led to some decisions. The company will focus on wind energy and has accelerated the divestment of its non-wind assets.

Further focus will be realized by narrowing its geographic activity base, and the planned listing of Theolia Emerging Markets as a separate entity has been cancelled.

The company also said its previously stated 2009à‚—2011 MW targets could not be maintained in the current financial environment. “In recognition of the current challenging financial environment, Theolia will align future growth with its financial capacity,” it said.

In order to increase internal cash generation to finance growth, Theolia has resumed efforts to sell wind farms in Germany, and is evaluating the sale of wind farms in other countries as well. Via its German subsidiary Natenco, Theolia has signed a contract to sell a 55.5 MW wind farm in Germany to Meinl International Power Limited in a deal worth €81m ($105m).

Vattenfall takes stake in Poland’s ENEA

Swedish power company Vattenfall AB has purchased an 18.7 per cent share in ENEA SA, one of Poland’s four state-owned energy companies, for SEK4.5bn ($0.6bn).

ENEA SA has a distribution network that supplies electricity across 20 per cent of the country. In 2007, it supplied 13 TWh of electricity to 2.3 million customers and is responsible for eight per cent of Poland’s total energy production.

Vattenfall is currently the largest foreign energy company in the country and this latest deal further strengthens its position in the Polish electricity market.

In addition to its growth ambitions, Vattenfall’s strategic focus is ‘making electricity clean’.

Siemens wins Israeli components order

Siemens Energy has won a contract, worth close to €200m ($259m) from the state-owned Israeli utility Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), for the supply of components for three gas turbine power plants.

For the Ramat Hovav, Hagit and Eskhol power generating stations, each with an installed gas turbine capacity of 287 MW, Siemens will supply three SGT5-4000F gas turbines, three air-cooled generators, the exhaust stack and the air intake system. The order also covers the electrical, instrumentation and control equipment for the turbine-generators, fuel conditioning systems and engineering work.

BP turns its back on UK’s wind sector

The UK wind sector has received a major blow à‚— BP has said it has dropped all plans to build wind farms and other renewable schemes in Britain, and instead will concentrate the bulk of its $8bn (à‚£5bn) renewables programme on the USA.

According to BP, difficulty in getting planning permission and lower economies of scale made the UK wind sector far less attractive than that of the US.

A BP spokesman confirmed the group had shelved ideas of building an onshore wind farm at the Isle of Grain, in Kent, and would not bid for any offshore licences.

BP said about $1.5bn would be spent next year on US wind projects. By the end of 2008, BP expects to have 1 GW of US wind power installed and plans to treble this by 2010.

BP’s decision comes in the wake of Shell selling off its stake in the London Array project. BP also said it was pulling out of China, India and Turkey, where it had been looking at projects.

NRG Energy board rejects Exelon unsolicited bid

US power producer NRG Energy Incorporated has rejected the $6.2bn takeover bid from Exelon Corporation, saying the offer is too low.

According to Howard Cosgrove, NRG’s chairman, “The board of directors is unanimous in its belief that the Exelon offer is inadequate, dilutive and significantly undervalues NRG and does not fully reflect the fundamental value of NRG’s assets, operations and strategic plan.”

The rejection by NRG Energy’s board of directors comes nearly two weeks after Exelon took its offer directly to NRG Energy shareholders by launching an exchange offer for all the company’s outstanding shares.

BHEL to move into nuclear reactors

India’s Economic Times reports that state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is in talks with electrical equipment maker Areva T&D India, the Indian arm of French Areva France SA, to create a joint venture (JV) company that will manufacture nuclear reactors.

BHEL would hold 26 per cent stake in the JV company, which is likely to be located in Finland. The JV would manufacture European Pressurized Reactors (EPR), each with a capacity of 1600 MW.

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Cogenerating together: A new joint venture between Wartsila’s Biopower business and Metso’s Heat and Power business has been cleared by the European Commission. The venture, called MW Power Oy, and will focus on small- and medium-scale power and heating plants.

Turbines take flight: This month will see Switzerland’s Advanced Aerofoil Technologies AG open a state-of-the-art gas turbine airfoil production facility in Bayreuth, Germany. It is in partnership with its German subsidiary MTS Deutschland GmbH.

Delivering the solution: Worley-Parsons has been selected by Siemensas a partner for its worldwide turnkey gas turbine equipment package delivery process. The alliance’s first project is the T-Power project in Tessenderlo, Belgium.

Coming clean: Germany utility RWE has acquired a 50 per cent stake in Agrinergy PTE Limited of Singapore à‚— a major provider of carbon credit services that focus on projects under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

East looks west: Thailand’s energy giant PTT Public Company Limited is reportedly in talks with Hiram Epsilon Limited to acquire 20à‚—25 per cent of its stake in Dalia Power Energies Limited. Dalia Power has plans to build a 560 MW power plant, with option to expand to 840 MW.

Building on wind: Samsung Heavy Industries Company of South Korea, which has business interests ranging from ship-building to construction, is reportedly preparing to launch an offshore wind power business in an effort to diversify its portfolio.

Computer whizz: IBM has announced a collaboration with French utility giant EDF. They will develop high performance computing solutions that could significantly advance the complex systems and processes involved in electricity production and power management.

European flavour: American EPC Fluor has acquired two private engineering companies à‚— UNEC Engineering of Belgium and Europea de Ingenieria y Asesoramiento of Spain.

Expanding abroad: Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) is reportedly set to complete on an acquisition of a majority stake in a US-based power plant. The deal, which is a joint venture, is said to be worth around $1bn (Dh3.67bn).

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