So You Want to Compete Against China?

Global renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power has purchased 23 of Goldwind’s GW87 1.5 MW wind turbines ahead of constructing its first wind farm in Chile in Q2 2012. The 34.5MW Negrete Cuel Wind Farm is located in central Chile and will be the country’s sixth utility-scale wind farm.

The wind farm, which is 100% owned by Mainstream, is expected to be the first non-recourse financing from the China Development Bank to benefit a wind project fully owned by a Western buyer.

So you want to compete against China? Follow the advice about leveraged commodity futures trading. “Lie down until the urge passes.”  Better yet, don’t try to beat them, team up with them as equals while you still can. While the west whinges and whines about China’s unfair critical materials export regimes, rather than getting on and doing something about bringing on-stream non-Chinese supply, China is running rings around the west by using some of its immense, mostly US dollar based foreign exchange reserves, to fund renewable power projects around the world.

In this one, Dublin based Mainstream Renewable Power opted for Chinese made wind turbines for its 70 Mw wind farm project near Chile’s giant Antofagasta copper mine and port city in the dry Atacama desert region, which brought forth non-recourse financing from the China Development Bank. A pretty smart move by Mainstream in austerity stricken Republic of Ireland.  While the west dithers, others are getting down to business stealing our lunch.

Goldwind to build Chilean wind farm
Updated: 2012-02-21 15:45
BEIJING – Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co Ltd, a leading Chinese wind turbine manufacturer, is set to develop a 70-megawatt (mW) wind farm in Chile, the company announced Tuesday in Beijing.

According to an agreement signed with global renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power, the two companies will establish a 50/50 joint venture to build the first phase of the Ckani Wind Farm in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile.

Under the terms of the agreement, Chicago-based Goldwind USA, a subsidiary of Goldwind, will supply 47 units of GW87/1.5mW wind turbines.

The Ckani wind farm has a total potential capacity of 240 mW and has been in development by Mainstream since 2009. It will be connected to the SING Electrical System and the construction on the first 70-mW phase is expected to start by the end of 2012.

—-In recent years, Chinese wind turbine makers have eyed the world market due to a surplus in domestic production capacity.

With over 80 wind turbine makers, China is able to produce 35 gigawatts (gW) wind turbines a year, if planned production capacities are put into operation. But over the next five years, the Chinese domestic market can consume only about 15 gW turbines a year under the renewable development objectives, according to the China Wind Energy Association (CWEA).

The CWEA says unit price quotes for Chinese wind turbines are 20-30 percent lower than those of their foreign counterparts in the world market.

Mainstream and Goldwind form JV to build 70MW Wind Farm in Chile
20 Feb 2012
Dublin headquartered global renewable energy developer, Mainstream Renewable Power (“Mainstream”) and the world’s fourth largest wind turbine manufacturer, Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Ltd. (“Goldwind”) today signed a 50/50 joint venture to build the first phase of the Ckani Wind Farm in the Antofagasta region of Northern Chile. The agreement was signed in Dublin during the “Ireland – China Trade and Investment Forum” which was attended by Xi Jinping, Vice President of The People’s Republic of China.

—-Mainstream has been developing 900MW of wind and solar projects in Chile since 2009. This is the second collaboration between Mainstream and Beijing based Goldwind, China’s largest turbine manufacturer, having successfully won a bid in Illinois, USA last December for the 109.5MW Shady Oaks project which is now in construction. Earlier this week Mainstream was awarded 138MW of wind and 100MW of solar PV projects by the South African Government which are due to commence construction in the second half of next year.

Antofagasta. “The Pearl of the North.”
Antofagasta  is a port city in northern Chile, about 700 miles (1,130 km) north of Santiago. It is the capital of Antofagasta Province and Antofagasta Region. According to the 2002 census, the city has a population of 296,905. However, a recent population projection by the National Institute of Statistics of Chile in 2009, says the city has an estimated population of 360,473 inhabitants.

The city of Antofagasta is closely linked to mining activity, being a major mining area of the country. The last decade has been a steady growth in the areas of construction, retail, hotel accommodations, population growth, and remarkable skyline development.

Antofagasta Plc
El Tesoro is a deposit located in Chile’s Antofagasta Region, 1,350 km north of Santiago. It now comprises two open-pit mines feeding a heap-leach operation and a run-of-mine (“ROM”) leaching operation, which produces copper cathodes using a solvent-extraction electro-winning process.

Pre-stripping of the Mirador deposit commenced in December 2010, with production from this satellite deposit expected to commence in the final quarter of 2011. This is expected to result in reduced costs at El Tesoro while the deposit is mined in the three-year period to 2014, as well as extending El Tesoro’s mine life to 2022.

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