Union Fenosa awaits permits for Mexican windfarm

TECATE Y MEXICALI, MEXICO - Union Fenosa, which recently merged with Gas Natural, is continuing plans to build a 500-megawatt (MW) windfarm in the La Rumorosa zone of Baja California County in Mexico, very close to the U.S. border.

At present, Union Fenosa, which is the majority owner of the project, is awaiting environmental, municipality, and construction permits and expects to proceed with the bidding for a turnkey contract in the middle of 2010 to start construction later that year.

The windfarm is expected to come online by 2012.

The project, which has a total investment value of about $800 million (US), entails the commissioning of 333 wind turbines, each rated at 1.5 MW. Construction kickoff has been delayed because of the permitting process and the recently confirmed merger between Union Fenosa and Gas Natural. Local authorities of Union Fenosa in Mexico are still awaiting final decision of the company concerning the projects in the region.

La Rumorosa is a community located in Tecate y Mexicali, close to the border of Mexico and California. Several windfarms are planned for the area. Currently, there is one 10-MW windfarm under construction in which five 2-MW G87 wind turbines are to be installed at a cost of approximately $26 million. Construction is being managed by Turbo Power Baja Energy SA, a company which was awarded the contract in February of this year, and the major equipment supplier is Spanish company Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica. The project is scheduled to be operational by 2010.

Gas Natural will keep its name after the completion of the merger with Union Fenosa and will have a total installed capacity of 17,000 MW throughout the world.



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