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Spanish firm to invest up to $1.9 billion in Australian clean energy projects.



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The Hon Simon Crean MP Minister for Trade

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Media contact: Mr Crean’s Office 02 6277 7420

Au strade: 02 9390 2388/ 0434 567 673

SC096 1 December 2008

SPANISH FIRM TO INVEST UP TO $1.9 BILLION IN AUSTRALIAN CLEAN ENERGY PROJECTS

Trade Minister Simon Crean today welcomed the announcement by Spanish firm Union Fenosa to invest A$1.9 billion in a portfolio of seven Australian wind farms.

The Spanish company has demonstrated a strong commitment to Australia's renewable energy market and the investment will create 225 jobs in the initial construction phase plus 40 operational positions.

Mr Crean said the venture would boost Australia’s clean energy capabilities and help to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“As well as directly creating badly needed jobs in regional areas, Union Fenosa Wind Australia’s facilities will boost growth in the local industry, creating new business and jobs to supply parts, maintenance and other services during their whole life cycle,’’ he said.

The electricity produced by the first three wind farms in Phase 1 would supply the annual consumption of 186 000 households. On completion in 2013, the seven wind farms will represent an additional 850 MW generation capacity to Australia’s existing wind generation capacity of 824MW.

Facilitation of the Union Fenosa investment was supported by Austrade, the Australian Government’s trade and investment development agency.

``The Rudd Government is committed to ensuring that we have the appropriate policy settings to confront the challenges of climate change as well as the expertise and infrastructure necessary to take advantage of the economic opportunities the arise from expanding global demand for this type of energy solution,’’ Mr Crean said.

“In addition these facilities will make a significant contribution to the Rudd Government’s renewable energy target that commits to at least 20% of Australia’s electricity supply being generated from renewable sources by 2020.’’

“Recognising the increasing importance of two-way investment to improving Australia’s trade performance, the Government has delivered on its election commitment to fully integrate the Government’s international business services within a single agency, Austrade,” Mr Crean said.

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Media contact: Mr Crean’s Office 02 6277 7420

Au strade: 02 9390 2388/ 0434 567 673

PROJECT DETAILS:

Phase one of the project will see the construction of wind farms at Hawkesdale and Ryan Corner in Victoria and Crookwell in New South Wales. The first phase is due for completion in 2010 and permits have been granted.

Phase Two will see the construction of wind farms at Tarrone, Berrybank and Darlington in Victoria as well as Paling Yards in NSW. The second phase is due for completion in 2013.

In the construction period of phase one, the company expects the creation of 150 jobs in Victoria, 75 jobs in New South, plus 40 operational positional positions.

Of the total investment of $1.9 billion, the company forecasts more than $1.56 billion will be spent in Victoria with the remainder being invested in New South Wales