April 25, 2017 / 4:06 PM / 7 months ago

EDF EN looks to wind park "repowering", German market in Futuren takeover

* EDF EN sees 10 pct synergy savings in Futuren acquisition

* EDF EN keen to enter fragmented German wind market

* Repowering old parks twice as fast as greenfield sites

By Geert De Clercq

PARIS, April 25 (Reuters) - EDF Energies Nouvelles is looking to “repower” old wind parks and get into the German market through its planned 320 million euro ($350 million) acquisition of French wind developer Futuren,, EDF EN chief Jerome Cahuzac said on Tuesday.

EDF renewable energy unit EDF EN has agreed to buy 67 percent of Futuren from a group of investment funds and wants to launch a bid for 100 percent by year-end in a deal that could value Futuren at 315 to 320 million euros, Cahuzac said.

Futuren - called Theolia before financial difficulties forced it into a restructuring - has 50 megawatts (MW) of ageing turbines in Morocco which will have to be repowered with new machines in the next 12-18 months and 140 MW in Germany that will have to be repowered in 3-4 years.

EDF expects synergies on spare parts purchasing, insurance, engineering and finance will add up to 20-30 million euros, or about 10 percent of the Futuren acquisition price.

“Repowering is a key issue for us and for all wind developers in Europe,” Cahuzac told reporters.

He said that since the first wind parks were installed in the windiest sites, repowering is a good option as the sites are already grid-connected and face less public resistance.

Futuren has net installed wind capacity of 330 MW in Germany, France, Morocco and Italy, 357 MW under management in Germany and development projects totalling just over 400 MW.

Repowering typically takes about half the time of greenfield development, which is six to seven years in France, twice as long as in Germany.

“Germany is an important country for us, precisely because of the repowering market there,” he said.

Germany - which has seven times more wind turbines per square kilometre than France - has lots of ageing parks whose subsidies will expire in coming years.

Cahuzac said the German market is more challenging for smaller players since the country replaced feed-in tariffs with market prices plus a premium, and he expects a wave of consolidation in the highly fragmented wind market there.

“We look at all possible acquisitions in Germany, especially at companies that have major development projects,” he said.

EDF EN has virtually no presence in Germany at the moment and employs only a few people there. Futuren has staff of 30 in Germany and 45 in France.

End 2016, EDF EN had 3,108 employees and installed capacity of 9,614 MW, of which 88 percent wind and 9 percent solar. The Futuren deal would boost EDF EN’s French wind market share to nearly 12 percent from 10 percent. ($1 = 0.9147 euros) (Reporting by Geert De Clercq, editing by David Evans)

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