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$3b wind farm deal - Wigton hiring Danish firm to supply new turbines
published: Wednesday | June 25, 2008


A section of Wigton's 683-acre wind park located in Manchester. - File

Wigton Windfarm Limited, a subsidiary of the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, has struck a $3 billion deal with Vestas Wind Systems AS for nine wind turbines.

But the finalisation and award of the contract must clear one more hurdle - Cabinet approval.

Under the deal with Wigton, Vestas, a Danish supplier of modern energy systems, will supply the wind turbine generators for US$47.6 million ($3.37 billion).

Vesta lays claim to the installation of 35,000 wind turbines across multiple countries. The company was selected by Wigton under limited tender.

More than projected

Wigton did not respond to requests for comment but the contract, which has already passed the scrutiny of the National Contracts Commission, is US$5 million more than it originally projected to spend on the project, according to the finance ministry's public sector bodies report.

The energy company, which was established in 2000 and is fully owned by the PCJ, estimated that the project would run to US$43 million "for the ordering of equip-ment and commencement of construction" to add 18 MW of capacity.

The plan includes developing Wigton, whose turbines are set on a 683-acre Manchester property, into a tourist attraction.

The wind farm's current capacity is 20.7 MW, generated from 23 900kw turbines.

Wigton, whose losses have accumulated to $67 million since start-up, last year opted to expand its operations through joint venture partnerships, but scrapped the plan after a change of the PCJ board.

Wigton has not said how the project would be financed, but a notation by the NCC suggests that its parent PCJ would foot the bill.

Energy consultant Dr Raymond Wright said last November that the new chairman felt the prospects for doubling the capacity of the wind farm to 41.4 megawatts were better if the ownership remained with PCJ.

The power produced by the wind farm is sold into the national grid under a 20-year power purchase contract with the island's sole power distributor, the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited.

john.myers@gleanerjm.com

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