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Atel acquires stake in Wasserkraftwerke Weinfelden AG
New shareholder base
As of 1 October 2008, Atel EcoPower Ltd. has acquired 49 per cent of the shares in Wasserkraftwerke Weinfelden AG which were on offer by Model AG, Weinfelden. Wasserkraftwerke Weinfelden AG operates and maintains three small hydroelectric power stations in the canton of Thurgau, and is pursuing a project for an additional run-of-river power station by a weir on the River Thur. The new shareholder base now consists of Atel EcoPower Ltd. with a 49 per cent stake, Meyerhans + Cie AG with 41 per cent, and Thurkraftwerk AG with 10 per cent.
Meyerhans + Cie AG retains most of its shares, while new shareholder Thurkraftwerk AG, a sister company of EW Bürglen, now holds 10 per cent. For Atel EcoPower Ltd. the stake in Wasserkraftwerke Weinfelden AG ideally its existing portfolio of small hydroelectric power stations, since there is still potential for expansion which will create synergies with the existing power station portfolio in Eastern Switzerland.
Small hydroelectric power stations with an annual production of 9.8 GWh and a capacity of 1.6 MW
Wasserkraftwerke Weinfelden AG operates three plants on the Thur canal. The Model and Mühle power stations went into operation in 1942 and 1950 respectively, and with a capacity of 400 Kilowatt (KW) each generate 2.6 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity per year. The Widen power station went on-stream in 1989 and has an annual production volume of 4.6 GWh based on a capacity of 760 KWh. All three plants are in good operating condition. Water use for the Model and Mühle is based on statutory rights, while the Widen power station has a licence which runs until 2068. A new licence must be obtained for the planned weir power plant on the River Thur, and is expected to be applied for in 2009.
Electricity for 3,000 households
With this stake in Wasserkraftwerke Weinfelden AG, Atel EcoPower Ltd. is expanding its small hydroelectric power station capacities in Eastern Switzerland.In addition to the three power stations by the Thur canal, the company owns six other small hydroelectric power stations. Together these generate some 15 million kWh per year, corresponding to the electricity requirements for around 3,000 households. There are also other sites with an expansion potential of around five to eight million kWh per year, which could supply another 1,000 to 1,500 households.
Atel EcoPower Ltd.
A fully-owned subsidiary of Atel Holding Ltd, Atel EcoPower Ltd. was founded in 2006 to implement renewable energy projects in Switzerland. This can cover the renovation or upgrading of existing small hydroelectric power stations as well as new facilities on former industrial sites or in the Alps. Atel is able to draw on its experience in the construction and operation of large-scale high-pressure and runof- river power stations for its small hydroelectric power station projects. Through its subsidiary Atel EcoPower Ltd., Atel is investing some CHF 200 million in existing small hydroelectric power stations and projects for new plants, and in so doing taking a responsible stand in the field of new renewable energies. Atel is aiming to provide around 20 per cent of the increases share of renewable energies to 5.4 Terawatt hours stipulated by the Federal Council by 2030.
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