U.S. power giant AES Corporation and the Bulgarian government Tuesday agreed on the building of the biggest wind power park in Bulgaria, which was the largest renewable energy investment in the country, local press reported.
The agreement will allow the AES to build a 270 million euro (363.6 million U.S. dollars) wind power park close to the town of Kavarna in northeast Bulgaria, with 52 wind power generators and a total production capacity of 156 MW.
The implementation of this project, together with other investments the company has made in Bulgaria so far, will make the AES a leader among Bulgaria's foreign investors with a total investment of over 1.5 billion euros (2.01 billion dollars).
The park will be managed by AES-Geo Energy, which has signed a 12-year contract with Bulgaria's National Electric Company NEK for the purchase of the produced electricity.
Some 60 million euros (80.4 million dollars) for the wind power park are provided by the AES, and the rest of the sum comes from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, UniCredit Bank, and UniCredit Bulbank.
Sergei Stanishev, Bulgaria's Prime Minister, said at the signing ceremony that Bulgaria is a major electricity exporter guaranteeing power consumption across the Balkan peninsula, and pledged that 16 percent of its electricity will be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020, which is not an easy task.
Peter Dimitrov, the country's Economy and Energy Minister, who was also present at the signing ceremony, said the investment demonstrated the will of the Bulgarian and U.S. governments, and of the creditors of the project to take firm anti-crisis measures.
The Wind Power Park is supposed to be completed in less than a year, or by October 2009.