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In the News

Hydro seals China deal

A JOINT ownership deal between Hydro Tasmania and a Chinese company for the Woolnorth wind farms has been signed in Beijing.

The deal will result in a $30 million tax windfall to the state, wipe $208 million of debt from Hydro Tasmania's balance sheet and allow the electricity generator to secure finance for its $400 million Musselroe wind farm project.

Deputy Premier Bryan Green was in China's capital for the signing of the deal yesterday.

Under the deal, Shenua Clean Energy Holding paid $88.6 million to take a 75 per cent share in the Studland Bay and Bluff Point wind farms with Hydro Tasmania retaining the rest.

Bluff Point, with 37 turbines, was commissioned in 2004. Studland Bay boasts 25 turbines and started generating power in 2007.

SCE is a new entity created by Guohua Energy Investment Corporation and Shenua Hong Kong to manage their Australian wind interests.

The Woolnorth investment is the new company's first in Australia.

Hydro Tasmania is now looking to develop a strategic co-operation agreement with its Chinese investor to develop other clean energy projects both in Australia and overseas .

Mr Green said the partnership would build on Tasmania's standing as Australia's renewable energy powerhouse.

When the transaction is closed, there will be a six-month exclusivity period for Hydro Tasmania to negotiate SCE's involvement in the Musselroe Wind Farm which is being built in the Tasmania's North-East.

Hydro Tasmania expects more than 200 people to be directly employed on the project during its 18-month construction phase.

Web link: http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2012/02/29/304801_tasmania-news.html

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