China's Goldwind bidding for $926m project in Australia

Chinese turbine manufacturer Goldwind is seeking to buy a 157-turbine wind farm in Australia as it expands its presence in overseas markets.

The company has joined with Chinese power company China Three Gorges New Energy Corporation in a bid for the Stockyard Hill project owned by Origin Energy in Victoria state, an industry source confirms.

The planned sale is estimated to be worth A$900m ($926m), according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Origin, Australia’s largest electricity retailer, declined to discuss the report, saying only that it has been evaluating options for the project since earlier this year.

“These options include interested parties constructing the wind farm on Origin's behalf through to the sale of the project with an associated power purchase agreement in place,” says a spokesman.

Other bidders reported to be on a shortlist include General Electric and Repower. The project could have a total capacity of 471MW, depending on the size of turbines used.

Goldwind has already developed, and subsequently sold, the 19.5MW Mortons Lane wind farm in Victoria.

It is currently working on a second project in Australia, the 165.5MW Gullen Range wind farm in New South Wales, which it bought from developer Epuron.

The company has sought to expand its overseas presence by investing in and developing wind farms.

China Three Gorges New Energy owns a 25% stake in Goldwind and a 33% stake in Xinjiang Wind Power which holds 14% of Goldwind’s shares. This relationship has prompted speculation that the pair could collaborate increasingly on overseas deals as the power company seeks to expand abroad.

Goldwind is also actively seeking collaborations with Chinese power engineering companies working on infrastructure projects in Africa, South America and other emerging wind markets.

It has already worked on such a project with Hydrochina in Ethiopia.

“We have a department in Goldwind that seeks to develop these channels,” says Wang Haibo, chief executive of Goldwind’s international division.

In South America, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay are considered to be “relatively transparent and good markets” for Goldwind, he adds.