November 17, 2010 06:32 ET

Major growth opportunities for Vergnet

ORMES, FRANCE--(Marketwire - November 17, 2010) -

French government launches call for tenders for a 1(st) phase of 75 MW of wind projects in the overseas departments

Major growth opportunities for Vergnet in its long-standing market

A call for tenders that furthers the goals of the Grenelle Environmental Round Table

On 12 November, the French Ministry for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea launched a call for tenders for the construction of land-based wind turbines in the overseas departments and on Corsica.

This initiative is designed to give renewed momentum to the development of land- based wind installations in the overseas departments and on Corsica, with the ultimate aim being the achievement of the goals laid down by the Grenelle Environmental Round Table.

A 1(st) phase of 10 projects with a combined capacity of 75 MW in the overseas departments

This 1(st) call for tenders consists of 13 projects representing combined capacity of 95 megawatts (MW), 20 MW of which are in the department of Guadeloupe and the Collectivities of Saint-Barthélemy and of Saint- Martin (3 projects), 15 MW in the department of Guyana (1 project), 20 MW in the department of Martinique (3 projects), 20 MW in the departments of La Réunion (3 projects), and 20 MW on Corsica (3 projects).

Upon completion of this call for tenders, the Ministry plans to launch a second call for tenders involving the same type of installation.

Promoting the development of a 2(nd) generation anti-cyclone wind turbine

For the departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique, La Réunion and the Collectivities of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin, and in order to ensure they perform properly in local weather conditions, these installations must be fitted with anti-cyclone devices, notably enabling the most exposed sections, in particular the blades, to be lowered to the ground.

The second objective of the call for tenders to is bring about the development of technology designed to reduce the impact of wind installations on the electricity grid, so as to be able to substantially increase the proportion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources across these regions, currently limited to 30%. To this end, the installations must absolutely be fitted with devices to store electricity and forecast production.

These new generation devices are the only means currently of controlling the intermittent nature of wind energy, thereby enabling greater use across electricity grids.

In return, the farms built will enjoy better tariffs. The call for tenders notably provides for a maximum of EUR180 / MWh (compared to EUR110 / MWh at present) for the departments of Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, La Réunion and the Collectivities of Saint-Barthélemy and Saint-Martin. This tariff is guaranteed for a period of 20 years.

Bids to be lodged by 30 May 2011

Applicants have until 30 May 2011 to lodge bids with the French Energy Regulator (Commission de régulation de l'énergie - CRE), which, following approval, will itself have a period of between two to six months in which to pass them on to the Ministry.

The winning bidder(s) will thus be granted an operating permit and will be required to have the wind farm up and running within 730 days.

Vergnet, a long-standing player in the overseas departments, a preferred partner for wind farm developers

Operating in the overseas departments market since 1993, the Vergnet Group has already installed close to 30 overseas wind farms, comprised of in excess of 400 wind turbines, and has successfully completed over 20 anti-cyclone protection manoeuvres over the past 17 years.

Thanks to the most recent version of its 1 MW GEV HP wind turbine, specifically designed for difficult access areas in cyclone zones, and fitted with a storage forecast system, Vergnet is the preferred partner for developers looking to position themselves on this call for tenders.

New development opportunities that reaffirm the Group's profitable growth outlook

The launch of this call for tenders opens new growth opportunities for the Vergnet Group.

According to Marc Vergnet, "this 1(st) call for tenders brings about the expected reopening of our long-standing market, which combined with the growth in our other target markets, notably Farwind and Proxwind, enhances our visibility and our goal of achieving profitable growth by 2012, on the back of revenue of over EUR150 million."

About Vergnet SA

VERGNET SA was founded in 1988 by its current manager, Marc Vergnet, a long-time figure in sustainable development. VERGNET is currently the leading manufacturer in its two businesses: the design and production of wind turbines for the FARWIND® markets and water supply equipment in Africa. On the back of singular patented technologies, the Group has already installed close to 650 FARWIND® wind turbines and supplies water to over 50 million people worldwide. The FARWIND(®) market covers over 130 countries in which electricity is mainly produced from oil and where the infrastructure and limited logistical resources mitigate against the installation of conventional wind turbines. The Group has 9 facilities worldwide (France, Caribbean, Pacific, Indian Ocean, Africa) and has some 280 employees. The VERGNET Group has been listed on the Alternext market since 12 June 2007 (FR0004155240 - ALVER).


Major growth opportunities for Vergnet:

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Source: VERGNET via Thomson Reuters ONE

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