The decision to select Gamesa was based on an extensive 12 month evaluation of the various wind turbine manufacturers deemed bankable by major lending institutions. Gamesa, having soundly satisfied the above criteria, offers a robust technologically advanced product, comprehensive after-sale maintenance, and a customer-first orientation. Western Wind has paid a deposit and will pay the bulk of the proceeds from the previously announced Manulife Financing subject to financial closing conditions satisfactory to Manulife.
Western Wind to Seek $200 Million in Senior Secured Project Financing for the 120 Megawatt Windstar Project, Tehachapi, CA
Western Wind Energy is pleased to announce that it has engaged The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company ("Manulife") to arrange up to $200 million in senior secured project financing ("Debt Facility") to support the construction and operation of the 120 MW Windstar Wind Energy Project located in Tehachapi, California. The term of the Debt Facility would include the construction period plus 20 years and the interest rate would be fixed at a market rate set upon closing. Financial Close will be subject to usual and customary due diligence for a wind project as well as lender approvals. Manulife will syndicate a portion to one or more Institutional Investors to round out the debt facility. A more comprehensive news release will be issued on closing.
About Western Wind Energy Corp.
Western Wind is a vertically integrated renewable energy electrical production company that currently owns over 500 wind turbines with 34.5 MW of rated capacity and a further 120MW of expansion power purchase agreements in the State of California. Western Wind further owns additional development assets for both Solar and Wind Energy in California, Arizona, Ontario, Canada and a development team in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Western Wind is in the business of owning and acquiring land sites and technology for the production of electricity from wind and solar energy. Management of Western Wind Energy includes individuals involved in the operations and ownership of utility scale wind energy facilities in California since 1981.
Gamesa improves EBIT margin 6% to 119 million euros in the first half of 2009
Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica consolidated its activity in the first half of 2009, improving EBIT by 6% to reach 119 million euros, 7 million more compared to the same period of 2008. The technology company, a leader in the wind energy sector, registered sales of 1,615 million euros – a similar amount compared to the same period last year (1,667 million euros) – and significantly improved the margin of EBIT over sales, to position it at 7.4%, greater than the figure of 6.7% in 2008 and aligned with the objectives defined for 2009 of 6-7%.
Also along the lines of confirming the objectives defined for 2009, the level of working capital over sales is at 17%, when the guidelines managed by Gamesa for 2009 established a reference of 20%.
With these reference figures, the gross EBITDA result reached 219 million euros (+2%) and the net profit of continued activities equalled 80 million euros, the same figure as the first half of 2008.
The group consolidated results (including both continued and discontinued operations) present a Net Profit of 65 million euros through June. The difference when compared to 198 million euros for the same period last year is basically due to the sale of the Solar division in that period last year. Net Financial Debt, also consolidated, is 554 million euros, 1.1 times the EBITDA.
Objectives achievement in a difficult environment
The results for the first half of 2009 are in line with the established 2009 objectives. The 1,638 MWe sold as of June allows for the sales forecast of 3,300 – 3,600 MWe in 2009 to remain.
The actions undertaken by Gamesa have translated into profitability improvement, the growth to 7.4%. Cost optimization has played a fundamental role through initiatives such as production synchronized to demand, including in the global supply chain, an increase in productivity and the reduction of general costs.
Despite the slow-down in demand, the sector’s fundamentals remain solid, giving wind energy good prospects for future growth with a long-term perspective. The high volatility of fossil fuel prices and oil price increases as well as growing concerns about energy dependence help the wind sector and Gamesa in particular, who continues improving the Cost of Energy of its products. The competitiveness of wind turbines has increased providing a more than adequate answer to the necessary reduction of CO2 emissions in the energy sector.
Also, Gamesa predicts a revival in installation activity in the second half of the year, in particular in Spain and USA. A factor to consider regarding the revival of demand is regulatory support in key markets: Europe, USA and China.
More precisely, in Spain, the Pre-Assignment Register (RLD 6/2009) was set up in the second quarter to ensure the orderly and steady commitment to a wind energy installation target, and requests are pending analysis and approval. In the USA, the procedure to apply for Treasury Grants (support for wind energy generation) will commence on August 1, 2009, and the market is further supported in both houses of Congress, each of which have recently passed different proposals contemplating renewable energy targets and the possibility for CO2 credit trading. Finally, in China, there is growing support from regional governments for the installation of wind farms and a possibility that the renewable energy target will be increased from 30 GW to 150 GW in 2020.
Strength in the Wind Turbine Business
The production and sale of wind turbines, Gamesa’s growth engine, reaffirms its strength. The steady order intake stemming from long-term agreements and new contracts signed in the first quarter of the year allowed 82% of the sales planned for 2009 to be covered as of June 2009. Also it is worth noting the new contracts signed and formalized in the month of July for example the first G8X-wind turbine platform supply agreement in China.
However, a slowdown in the market was felt in the first half of the year, especially in the United States, which contributed less than expected during this period due to the waiting for implementation of stimulus measures approved in February, which will begin to take effect in the second half of the year. The 1,638 MWe sold up to June are 11% reduction with respect to the same period in 2008.
In this context, Spain is the largest market in sales with 36% of the total, although the international contribution has increased. The rest of Europe accumulated 27% of sales of Gameas’s wind turbines, USA 17%, China 13% and the Rest of World 7%. The G8X platform segment continues to account for 72% of sales, G5X 26% and the MADE product segment make a 2% contribution to sales.
Wind farms a competitive advantage
Gamesa has almost 22,000 MW in its wind farm portfolio throughout the world. These assets give Gamesa a competitive edge. The company continues to focus on the development of its wind farm portfolio with a two-fold aim: moving forward in the value creation plan at its Wind Farm Division and becoming a driver for the Wind Turbine Division’s demand.
With this value creation criteria, Gamesa delivered 118 MW of wind farms in the USA and Europe during the second quarter of the year. These projects had already been committed before June 2008, the date in which the new wind farm strategy was announced.
In addition to these wind farm deliveries, Gamesa maintained more than 600 MW in the final stages of promotion as of June 30, 2009. More than 400 MW correspond to MW under construction which is a growth of 14% compared to last year and more than 200 MW in start-up, which is 83% more compared to the same period last year.
In the second quarter, more than 400 MW have been recovered in the USA and will increase Gamesa’s portfolio value in this market.
At the same time, in the second Quarter, Gamesa has started a value creation plan for the wind farm portfolio of more than 2,000 MW in the Chinese market, with the creation of joint ventures for development and construction together with leading local operators.
Along these lines, on June 17 Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica and China Guangdong Nuclear Wind Co. Ltd. reached an agreement to jointly develop 253 MW of wind power projects in the province of Shandong, located in northeastern China, between 2009 and 2011. All these projects will be equipped with Gamesa G5X-850 KW wind turbines manufactured at the company’s production centers in Tianjin. The first project agreed upon is the Taipingshan wind farm with a power output of 49.3 MW, the first wind farm developed by Gamesa Energía in China.
In addition, on July 23 Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica and China Huadian New Energy Development Co. Ltd. reached an agreement to jointly develop 200 MW in four joint wind farm development and construction projects between 2009 and 2011 in the region of Inner Mongolia, all of which will be equipped Gamesa G5x-850 kW and G8x-2.0 MW wind turbines. The first fifty-eight Gamesa G5X wind turbines having a capacity of 49.3 MW will be delivered to the Meiguiying wind farm.
A technological milestone – without precedent
From a technological standpoint, the start-up of the first prototype of the new G10x-4.5 MW wind turbine stands out as well as the generation of the first KWh of energy in April 2009. In just six months, the G10x’s development progressed from test bank validation to production of the first kWh of energy.
The development, assembly and testing process has allowed Gamesa to confirm that this new wind turbine is a technological revolution and confirm success in its bet on a new concept capable of competing in the market in terms of Cost of Energy not just with other wind turbines, but also with other power generation sources.
The competitive criteria as well as the construction costs have confirmed the possibility of transporting and assembling a 4.5-MW wind turbine with the same means as those used for a 2-MW wind turbine.
Gamesa will initiate the installation of the second prototype of the G10x-4.5MW in the second half of 2009 and will carry out its commercial presentation before the end of the year. With an industrial launch proposal in the 3 key continents, the production of the first units with start in 2010, with 2011 being the year for series production.
Gamesa is a company specializing in sustainable energy technologies, mainly wind power. Gamesa is the market leader in Spain and is positioned among the most important wind generator manufacturers in the world with a cumulative market share of 14%.
Gamesa has installed more than 16,000 MW of wind energy around the world. The annual equivalent of this production amounts to more than 3.4 million tons of petroleum (TEP) per year and prevents the emission into the atmosphere of
over 24 million tons of CO2 a year.
The company has production centers located in Europe, China and the United States with an international workforce of around 7,000 employees.