China Longyuan Power Pulls Out of Australian Wind Farm Auction
Competition for a stake in an Australian wind farm is thinning, after a key shortlisted party pulled its interest. China Longyuan Power Group Corp won’t submit a final offer in an auction for a stake in Boco Rock wind farm.
China’s largest wind-power producer had been shortlisted alongside Thailand’s Electricity Generating PCL as potential buyers of a stake in the New South Wales state wind farm, The Wall Street Journal reported last month. Thailand’s Egco remains likely to submit a final bid by the Apr. 24 deadline. It could acquire between 50% and 100% of Boco Rock, depending on whether General Electric Co.’s energy investment arm GE Energy Financial Services exercises its option over half of the wind farm’s equity.
Egco president Sahust Pratuknukul said last month that the Bangkok-listed company plans to make investments worth 15 billion Thai baht (US$518 million) in the coming year. Among its targets are “joint ventures in renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar power plant projects,” he said, adding that its offshore focus would be in neighboring countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Interest in the Boco Rock wind farm, which will have up to 107 MW of installed generating capacity, shows overseas investors are becoming more confident that they can make a profit from renewable energy projects.
Hong Kong-listed Longyuan, which has a market value of $7.6 billion, had an accumulated pipeline capacity of wind power projects of 63.1 GW as at Dec. 31. The group’s wind power generation rose 32.7%, while coal power generation declined 5.3% in the first quarter of 2013, compared with the same period a year earlier.
The entire Boco Rock project, planned by Continental Wind Partners and Wind Prospect Group, will have an enterprise value of around 300 million Australian dollars, and its first stage of development includes 66 wind turbines. Australian government approval has been received to double the wind farm’s size to up to 122 turbines.
In September, EnergyAustralia signed a power purchase agreement, which includes acquiring the output and renewable energy certificates generated from Boco Rock’s first stage. EnergyAustralia is the Australian unit of Hong Kong-listed power generator CLP Holdings Ltd. Egco, which has a market value of $2.8 billion, has previously sought to buy Australian assets including the 53-MW Hallet 5 Wind Farm, which was eventually sold by AGL Energy Ltd. to Japan’s largest wind power developer Eurus Energy Holdings Corp.