Aussie renewables head into India

HYDRO Tasmania announced today plans to establish a consultancy office in New Delhi, India. This follows another move into Asia, the Roaring 40s wind power development venture, a 50/50 partnership with China Light and Power. Hydro Tasmania stressed that its charter would only allow it to be involved with sustainable projects.

The company said its decision to set up the Hydro Tasmania Consulting office in India would give both the hydro developer and Roaring 40s access to a technologically-proficient skills base in a region experiencing economic growth second only to China, with a similar commitment to renewable energy.

Hydro Tasmania chief executive Geoff Willis made today’s announcement from India, where he is currently a member of Prime Minister John Howard’s trade delegation.

“We have undertaken extensive investigations of the Indian market and these have convinced us that it is a place where we should establish a permanent commercial operation,” Willis said.

Hydro Tasmania Consulting has already been awarded two contracts in India, and Willis said the company’s strong international reputation was likely to see it achieve growing success in a country ranked fifth in the world for hydropower potential.

Hydropower can be contentious, as various projects around the world are said to have seriously mismanaged environmental flows, affecting the agriculture and economic livelihoods of nearby communities.

It is the increasing demand from the investment, insurance and environmental groups for acceptable forms of hydro energy that is thought to give Hydro Tasmania an advantage in the international market.

“Hydro Tasmania Consulting is committed to being only involved with projects that reflect the organisation’s commitment to sustainability,” Willis said.

Willis is also a director of Roaring 40s, and said today the wind energy company had established a target of installing 250MW of renewable energy projects in India by 2010.

“Roaring 40s will bring a new business edge to the Indian market through its expertise as a full spectrum project developer,” Willis said.

“Roaring 40s is currently investigating two wind power opportunities in India. In order to fully explore these and other project opportunities, Roaring 40s will establish a permanent office in the city of Mumbai to be staffed by full-time Roaring 40s employees.”

The lack of federal support for an extension of the Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets in Australia has been cited as an important motivator for international expansion, with a Roaring 40s manager saying last year it would be very difficult for new wind projects to be established in Australia after 2008.

Today, Willis said there was significant potential for Roaring 40s and Hydro Tasmania Consulting to build on their initial successes overseas.

Hydro Tasmania Consulting already has an office in Papua New Guinea while Roaring 40s has established a Hong Kong office to manage the company’s developments in Asia, including the construction of a 49.3MW wind farm at Shuangliao in north-east China.

“While Hydro Tasmania will always remain a proudly Tasmanian business, it is also exporting its consulting expertise to other countries, particularly in the Asian region,” he said.

“In addition to this, Roaring 40s continues to grow its business overseas, and contributes significant project expertise and experience to the rapidly expanding Asian market.”


A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the energy sector, brought to you by the Energy News Bulletin Intelligence team.

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