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Windfarm unaffected by financier’s woes  

THE future of the Glen Innes Windfarm project on Waterloo Range is unlikely to be affected by the financial woes being suffered by investment house Babcock and Brown, one of two partners in the project, according to a company spokesperson.

The market value of the troubled investment house halved last week, with concerns of mounting debt and that the firms European and Australian banks will review their lending to the company. Its fortunes recovered slightly in the past two days, after an announcement it would appoint independent chairmen to each of its four listed funds – including Babcock and Brown Wind Partners – and that the sale of European wind farm assets, first mooted in February, were to go ahead.

Company spokesperson Kelly Hibbins told the Examiner the sale of the European wind assets was an opportunity to demonstrate their true value, and the company remained committed to developing windfarms “particularly in Australia and the US, where significant development opportunities exist.” She said construction of the Glen Innes Windfarm was not affected by movements in the share price.

“Our financing arrangements remain in place and we are enthusiastically looking forward to developing this wind farm. Our ability to raise debt and equity for future projects remains strong, and (the company’s ) Australian wind farm development pipeline continues to grow rapidly as our wind farm team are constantly creating new development opportunities,” she said.

Colin Paterson from NP Power, the other partner in the project, agreed there there would be no change to the timetable.

“It’s business as usual (for the Glen Innes Windfarm),” he said.

“We’ve got two or three (wind farms) on the go, and they’re all going ahead.”

Mr Paterson said while it was an “unfortunate set of circumstances” for Babcock and Brown, his company had confidence in its partner.

“In our opinion the fundamentals are financially sound,” Mr Paterson said.

The Department of Planning, which is assessing the development, last month returned the development application to consultants Connell Wagner, saying it needed more work. A department spokesperson told the Examiner last week said once it had received a revised application an assessment of its adequacy would be completed within 21 days, before going on public exhibition for 30 days.

Tim Hughes

Glen Innes Examiner

18 June 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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