Wind power wafts energy sector onto the M&A map

Newsroom 08/12/2008 | 16:13

The main deal of the year in the energy sector was Czech energy company CEZ's acquisition of Continental Wind Partners' wind project in Dobrogea in July. The wind power park, the largest in Europe, is situated at Fantanele and Cogeleac, close to the Black Sea. The value of the transaction was not disclosed by CEZ officials. The wind power plant, which will have a total capacity of 600 MW of green energy, will be ready by the end of 2010, requiring investments of EUR 1.1 billion.
CEZ's decision and its determination to become a energy producer on the local market were not surprising. Company officials have said on various occasions that they had come to Romania also to be energy producers and their plans had been thwarted by government indecision regarding the status of certain state-owned production units.
Finally, in the first half of this year, the Romanian government approved the formation of the National Energy Company, which is made up of the state-owned hydropower producer Hidroelectrica, electricity distributor Electrica and the power complexes in Rovinari and Turceni.
These energy production units were previously courted by foreign investors who saw their plans swept away. Two months after the wind energy farm deal was signed, CEZ Romania was pronounced the winner of the privatization tender for Termoelectrica's Galati branch, while Electrabel, owned by France's Suez, was chosen as winner for the Borzesti branch.
CEZ and Electrabel will each build a 400 MW unit, with the total investment in each one estimated to reach between EUR 300 million and EUR 400 million. Enel and E.ON also joined hands to build power production units for state-controlled energy producer Termoelectrica. Construction will begin in 2010 and should be completed no later than 2015. Nevertheless, the most important moment of this year for the Romanian energy sector was the signing of the investors' agreement for Units 3 and 4 at Cernavoda, which took place last month. The joint venture, which is set to construct two 720 MW units at the existing Cernavoda nuclear power plant in Romania by 2015, brought to the negotiation table officials from Nuclearelectrica, CEZ, GDF SUEZ, RWE Power, Enel, Iberdrola and ArcelorMittal Romania.

By Dana Ciuraru

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