(Wiesbaden 04.06.2002) To step up its activities in France, ABO Wind set up in January a subsidiary, ABO Wind SARL, with offices in Toulouse and Colmar. For the time being, three to four employees are planned for the subsidiary. As project volume grows, staff numbers will be increased. The technical and financial expertise necessary for wind park project planning will initially come from the German parent company which has many years’ experience in Germany and staff who have been active in French business for a long time. The goal is to develop the subsidiary into a largely independent project developer with good market position within medium sized wind farm developers. At the same time, alliances with French partners are planned in individual cases. As Managing Director, Benoit Praderie, will be responsible for setting up the French company. He has many years’ experience of working internationally in the area of renewable energy and detailed knowledge of the French wind energy market.
For ABO Wind Chief Executive Officer, Matthias Bockholt, this market represents one of the most interesting future markets for the exploitation of wind energy:
“At present, France fulfils all conditions for a successful market entry : very good wind conditions, legally guaranteed power purchase agreements for wind generated electricity and a potential for suitable locations which has hardly been tapped into”.
So far ABO Wind SARL has four locations for wind farms under definite contract. The sites near Carcassonne in the Department of Aude, provide the possibility for the construction of up to approximately 22 wind turbines with a total capacity of 30 Megawatt (MW). Contracts for two further projects in Alsace-Lorraine, each with a potential capacity of twelve MW, are close to conclusion. The company is presently working on a total of ten locations. Most of these are in the Department of Aude in the south of France and in Alsace-Lorraine. Completion of the first wind farm is expected by 2003/2004.
In June 2001 the French National Assembly passed a law opening up the wind energy market. As was the case with the German renewable energy law, energy providers in France have been obliged since then to buy wind produced electricity. Wind energy generators receive 8.38 cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) for electricity fed into the grid. This regulation applies for the first five years of operation, after which payments are reduced depending on the amount of electricity produced.
With such security for development and investment, it becomes economically attractive to utilise France’s wind potential, ranked at number two in Europe after England. The French government plans to invest ten billion euro into the expansion of wind energy by the year 2010.
The barely 100 MW of installed capacity at present – corresponding to approximately 1% of wind farms operating in Germany – will be increased by the erection of 5000 turbines amounting to 10,000 MW.
(Wiesbaden, 13.05.2002) The year 2001 saw continued growth for ABO Wind. The annual surplus amounting to 0.5m euro was up by 36% on the previous year and is 42% above what was projected in the prospectus of the last capital increase. Hence, for 2001, a year earlier than planned, a dividend of 0.30 euro per share has been earmarked.
“Our core area of business, project development of wind farms, is increasing both at home and abroad. For the year 2002, we are expecting a yield at least twice as high” says ABO Wind Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jochen Ahn.
In domestic business, one of the main areas of activity last year, apart from the planning and construction of wind farms, was the securing of future locations through leasing contracts. With the acquisition of these sites, good conditions were created for successful business development in 2002 and 2003. Overseas business – the focal points being Spain and France – was expanded and is progressing better than expected.
Activity in the area of biomass in 2001 centred mainly on the acquisition of projects. A first wood-fired power station for combined heat and electricity production is in the project development phase. With additional staff taken on, the course has been set for further growth.
Since the beginning of 2001 the number of employees has doubled from 14 to 28. In order to finance this growth, particularly abroad, a further capital increase with an issuing volume of some 2 million euro is planned.
Following the capital increase, ABO Wind will be seeking an over-thecounter quotation.
(Wiesbaden 05.04.2002) ABO Wind AG is strengthening its activities abroad with the development of wind farms, mainly in France and Spain. The company will publish details in the coming weeks on finalisation of the relevant contracts. “Our business segment, project development and with it our core area of competence is currently developing abroad well beyond expectations. We see there significantly higher yield potential than through the longterm operation of our own wind farms. We will therefore no longer hold wind turbines as long-term stock”, said Chief Executive Officer Jochen Ahn commenting on the activities. Consequently, the company is disposing of two wind turbines, which up to now formed part of the company’s long-term stock, thus financing an increased number of project developments. CEO Jochen Ahn, sees the sale as an important step for the future: “This measure is also in preparation for the over-the-counter quotation.
ABO Wind will then increasingly be compared with other wind energy developers with no turbines in their long-term stock. Otherwise, comparisons would hardly be possible”. Nevertheless, turbines erected by the company in future, will remain in the company’s short-term stock, i.e. for one or two years, as long as this makes good business sense.
The two wind farms in Schleiden-Schöneseiffen/Eifel, once part of ABO Wind’s stock, have been transformed into the well-established local community wind farm model and are currently being offered for participations. The one and a half year operating time of the wind farm provides investors with more security than wind farms which have not as yet achieved operational results. Furthermore, the first year of operation yielded significantly more power output than had been forecast before start-up. The wind turbines were completed by ABO Wind in October 2000 along with 15 others with a total rated power of 25.5 megawatt. The other turbines, which were sold to other operators immediately after their construction, have also produced more energy to date than had been forecast before start-up.
(Wiesbaden 08.03.2002) Depending on the capital market situation, ABO Wind AG is planning a capital increase in the near future with an issuing volume of 2 to 3 million euro. The capital raised will be used to finance further growth on foreign markets in the areas of wind energy as well as biomass. Following the capital increase ABO Wind will be seeking an over-the-counter quotation.
As well as good wind conditions, the foreign markets of most interest to ABO Wind also offer attractive power purchase agreements guaranteed by law. The main focus here is on Spain and France. “We have many years’ experience with the turnkey construction of wind farms at home. We have many contacts and partners abroad and are close to finalising first contracts for sites. It is our specific intention to reinforce this position using funds from the capital increase”, commented Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jochen Ahn.
The company is in the process of establishing biomass as a segment of its business operations. An initial wood-fired biomass power station is in the project phase and further projects are in the preparation phase. In the unanimous opinion of experts, biomass as a source of energy possesses considerable economic potential. The last public capital increase to the order of one million euro was completed in autumn 2000 by the internal sales department. No outside marketing was needed. The capital raised was used to finance wind farms at home as well as to secure locations for further wind farms. This necessitated an increase in the number of employees by 10 to 24 in 2001.
Business development and share price 2001 ABO Wind is extremely satisfied with business development in 2001 with the projected profits being reached. Publication of the final figures is planned for April 2002. This development is also reflected in ABO Wind’s share price. Since beginning off-board trading in March 2001, share prices have more than doubled despite an unfavourable stock market environment.
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