A joint venture of the Italian energy company ERG and LUKoil, LUKErg Renew, has received approval to buy four wind energy companies in northeastern Bulgaria and beef up its clean energy profile in Europe. The Bulgarian Competition Protection Commission gave the companies permission to buy Global Energy, Mark 1, Mark 2 and UP Bulgaria 4. Wind energy makes up nearly a quarter of renewable energy in Bulgaria, which now accounts for 11 percent of total energy production in the country. The value of the deal was not disclosed.
LUKErg is also considering wind projects in Russia and Ukraine. While building windmills in a country dominated by oil and gas companies may once have seemed quixotic, Russia has recently attempted to follow Europe’s lead in supporting the development of alternative energy. In September the Energy Ministry will announce the winner in a competition to develop renewable energy facilities. The LUKoil representative did not mention whether it would participate in the contest.
LUKErg Renew was founded initially to build wind farms and sell their power in Bulgaria and Romania
The governments of Romania and Bulgaria have invested heavily in alternative energy, a market development that made russian LUKoil and italian ERG create a joint venture specifically to do business in these energy markets. The company LUKErg Renew acquired in 2012 from Raiffeisen Energy & Environment a 40 MW wind farm in Bulgaria, and one in Romania, a 84 MW from italian renewable developer Inergia.
In 2013 LUKErg Renew bought from Vestas, the world’s largest turbine maker, another two wind projects: one in Romania, the Gebeleisis wind farm near Galaţi, with an installed capacity of 70 MW, and one in Bulgaria, with an installed capacity of 14 MW. The Gebeleisis wind farm has an annual output of 165 GWh and is valued at 109.2 million euros. The Bulgarian project has an annual output of 34 GWh and is valued at 17.6 million euros.