Plans for Up To 300 Wind Projects in Sweden

Swedish paper group Södra has decided to invest in the group’s first wind turbines, which are to be constructed at Södra Cell’s Mönsterås pulp mill. This phase comprises five to six wind turbines.

Permission to build the turbines has been granted and electricity production from the turbines is expected to start in the third quarter of 2010.

The turbines are part of a major planned wind power development with preliminary plans also being drawn up for wind turbines at Södra Cell Mörrum and Värö pulp mills.

In addition, Södra has finalised an agreement covering at least 300 wind farms in southern Sweden on land belonging to Södra members and elsewhere. It is investing up to SEK 10 billion (US$1.43 billion) in an annual power production of 1.6 TWh with Norwegian energy producer Statkraft through their jointly-owned company Södra Vindkraft. Södra Cell is Europe’s largest market pulp producer with a capacity of 2.1 million tonnes per year at five mills, three in Sweden and two in Norway.

The agreement paves the way for the expansion of a significant number of wind farms in southern Sweden. Statkraft, Europe’s leading renewable energy company, will become a partner of Södra Skogsägarna in a new joint business venture to drive the long-term development and expansion of wind power on Södra’s properties. Each individual project will be preceded by an investment decision by the owner companies.

“This is a major initiative on renewable energy in the form of wind power in Sweden and Statkraft is delighted to be part of the project. The agreement also enables Statkraft to strengthen its position as one of Sweden’s leading suppliers of renewable energy,” said Bård Mikkelsen, CEO of Statkraft.

By acquiring a 90.1% holding in Södra’s existing wind power subsidiary, Södra Vindkraft AB, Statkraft will become a major partner for Södra and the first projects are expected to be up and running in 2010 at the earliest, after which they will gradually be expanded over a number of years.

Commenting on the move, Södra’s president and CEO, Leif Brodén said: “It is part of a broad alliance which aims to speed up the development of sustainable energy solutions being called for by consumers. Not only does it allow us to develop our existing portfolio of wind power projects; it creates space for additional projects.”

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