Estonia will build offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea

(Andy Dingley, CC BY-SA)

Elgin sells logistics project located near Romanian city Pitesti

Ticketmaster acquires ticket agent Ticketpro

Estonia

Estonian developer 4Energia has said it will go ahead with a 700 megawatt to 1,000 megawatt wind farm northwest of the island of Hiiumaa in the Baltic Sea. 4Energia has proposed utilizing the EU’s cooperation mechanism to help finance the offshore wind farm, its largest Baltics project.

In mid-2016, together with Lithuania, Estonia ended its gas imports from Russia and increased Norway’s Statoil contribution to its gas for heat and hot water. It is now looking to increase its clean energy capacity having already overshot its clean energy generation targets for 2020.

With only 1.3 million inhabitants, it is not easy for Estonia to justify such a massive offshore wind farm that further overshoots its own country climate targets under the EU Directive. Estonia has already met its EU target of 25 per cent renewable energy by 2020 and it exports surplus renewable energy to its neighbors.

One approach being taken into consideration to find funding is presenting the project as a way for another country that is undershooting its target to finance it under the EU Cooperation Mechanism, whereby: “Joint projects: Two or more EU countries can co-fund a renewable energy project in electricity or heating and cooling, and share the resulting renewable energy for the purpose of meeting their targets. These projects can but do not have to involve the physical transfer of energy from one country to another.”

An EU member state that is not able to meet its targets could be the financing partner. Financing a project elsewhere would qualify such a partner as having met its own 2020 target. Such an arrangement could also be beneficial in getting wind turbine orders from the array if financed by a nation with an industrial wind sector. The UK or France might be good potential financing partners. Both are at risk of missing their targets but while the UK imports most of its turbines from Germany, France is expanding its domestic wind manufacturing.

The turbines, towers, nacelles and cables will be imported, with Germany’s Enercon and Finland’s WinWind acting as the main suppliers. Offshore wind development is generally more challenging than onshore, but the Baltic Sea does offer a relatively easy transition geologically, with a shallow and sandy seabed. Costs are lower in the sheltered Baltic Sea than in the more exposed North Sea, because lower wave heights reduce the costs of construction and ongoing maintenance. 4Energia will use ice-proof gravity-based foundations. In turn, this ease of access for performing maintenance results in more productive hours of operation — which further lowers costs again. 4Energia projects that the Hiiumaa Offshore Wind farm would have a very high capacity factor of approximately 50 per cent.

In addition to 4Energia’s project, an equally ambitious Estonian offshore wind project has just begun the multi-year permitting process, this one in the Baltic Sea’s Riga Gulf. Eesti Energija is the country‘s state-owned primary power generator, distributor, and supplier. Its renewable arm just submitted its application to build another gigantic offshore wind farm south of Kihnu Island in the Bay of Riga. This too is proposed at a 700–1,000-MW capacity.

Also another smaller project has made its application to begin its own environmental permitting. Neugrund, a startup firm, proposes to develop the Neugrund Offshore Wind Farm on Estonia’s North coast up by the Gulf of Finland. The planned capacity is between 100 MW and 234 MW.

Estonia is expanding its clean energy to the point of being a clean energy exporter, and has shifted its gas buys to state-owned Statoil, in the world’s only oil-rich liberal democracy, Norway. “The independent state of Estonia can only exist permanently in a space of democratic values,” said Estonian president, Kersti Kaljulaid, in early March.

Romania

Elgan, a company owned by businessman Simon Roth, has sold a logistics project located near Pitesti, rented by Dacia, to real estate fund Globalworth, which is controlled by Ioannis Papalekas, in a deal worth EUR42.5m.

The warehouse has a leasable area of 68,000 sqm and a land plot that is suitable for the construction of another 40,000 sqm. It was opened in 2010 and provides distribution of spare parts for Dacia, Renault and Nissan in Romania and 33 other countries. Through this acquisition, Globalworth expands its storage and logistics centers portfolio in Romania, after the acquisition of TAP park in Timisoara.

“This is the first significant exit in Romania, and what is more, the Elgan group is looking at new developments,” said Robert Miklo, associate director, Investment Services at Colliers International. He added this was the second biggest deal Colliers brokered on the industrial market in the last three years, after the company offered consultancy on the acquisition of Europolis Logistic Park for 120 million euros in 2015.

In the meantime, Elgan Group has developed several similar real estate projects, including: Auchan Logistics (38,000 sqm in Hungary), Volvo Trucks Factory & Logistics (19,300 sqm in France), Renault-Nissan Logistics (19,500 sqm in Hungary), Bogáncs Estates Office & Logistics (57,000 sqm in Hungary) and DHL Express HQ Office & Logistics (14,500 sqm in Hungary).

Poland

Live Nation-owned Ticketmaster has increased its presence in 30 countries with the acquisition of Poland and Czech Republic-based ticket agent, Ticketpro. Ticketpro was launched in the Czech Republic in 1992 and has since developed its software and business across Central Europe and licensed its TicketSoft software in other international markets including Hungary, Chile and Belarus.

The acquisition offers Ticketmaster the opportunity to extend its international ticketing business activities into another key Central European market within the Czech Republic, as well as complement the development of its existing business in neighboring Poland.

“The live entertainment industry continues to flourish. There are more events taking place and artists on the road than ever before, coupled with increasing demand from fans across the world,” said Ticketmaster international president Mark Yovich. “Acquiring Ticketpro enables us to better service our clients in Central Europe, while providing a world class service to the many fans in these countries.” 

Ticketpro CEO Serge Grimaux added: “Having started our business in the Czech Republic, Ticketpro has established a proven track record in Central Europe and many emerging markets around the world. Combining this with Ticketmaster’s global scale and reach will ensure that Ticketpro continues to provide an even better experience to its current fans, while attracting considerably more. This is an exciting time for the business and the live entertainment industry in this part of the world. For me, it is the end of a ticketing journey which has lasted over 25 years.”

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