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CLP To Pay HK$730m For Wind Power Assets

Denise Tsang, SCMP – Apr 08, 2009

Electricity supplier CLP Holdings (SEHK: 0002) has agreed to buy mainland wind-power projects from its Australia-based partner for HK$730 million, making its first move to restructure its renewable energy investments overseas.

The deal involves the acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in 10 wind farms largely in Jilin and Shandong provinces from Roaring 40s Renewable Energy, a 50-50 joint venture between CLP and Hydro Tasmania of Australia.

The acquisition will add 122 equity megawatts to CLP’s renewable energy capacity, increasing it to more than 1,200MW, or 9 per cent of its total generation capacity.

To lift the renewable energy capacity ratio to 20 per cent of its total generation capacity by 2020, CLP yesterday said it would acquire Roaring 40s’ green energy portfolio in India “in the near future”.

A CLP spokesman said the India acquisition involved one wind farm. The price is still being negotiated.

Group chief executive Andrew Brandler said the restructuring of ownership of Roaring 40s’ mainland portfolio would instantly boost CLP’s exposure to the country’s fledgling green energy market while bringing its target non-carbon-emitting generating capacity closer to reality.

The company would keep its interest in Roaring 40s, which would in turn focus on renewable investments such as geothermal and solar energy in Australia after the asset restructuring, he said.

Two of the 10 wind farms are in Jilin and one in Shandong. The rest were under construction, a CLP spokesman said.

Some analysts said investment on renewable energy development was commercially viable on the mainland because of incentives such as lower tax, higher on-grid tariffs and government subsidies.

CLP, which has been accused by green groups of being Hong Kong’s biggest polluter, has aggressively expanded its clean-energy investments in hydro, wind, biomass, solar and geothermal power on the mainland, in Australia, India, Thailand and Laos as part of its non-carbon-emitting vision for 2050.

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