European Business Briefs: wind, water, pumps and air pollution

In this week’s European Business Briefs, buy-outs in the wind power industry; pumps to assist in the extension of a Spanish airport; improving water provision; and two loans for eastern Europe.


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Vestas Wind Systems and the shareholders of the Norwegian company Windcast Group have signed a letter of intent regarding transfer of the shares in Windcast to Vestas. Windcast is the world’s leading supplier of advanced and high quality castings to the wind turbine industry, says Vestas, reaching a turnover of NOK430 million (€58 million) in 2001, and employing 494 staff. Vestas is Windcast’s largest customer.

Madrid-Barajas Airport in Spain, the fifth busiest in Europe, is expanding at a cost of €4,200 million. As part of the expansion, pump manufacturer ABS has announced that 60 of its JUMBO pumps are to be used during the construction of new terminal buildings and runways.

Meanwhile in France, water company Suez has announced that it will sign a co-operation agreement with UNESCO to improve access to water for people in less wealthy countries. Suez will provide around €300,000 for the first three years of the scheme. The first task will be a new UNESCO initiative to rehabilitate the Volga-Caspian basin.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced two new loans for improving the environment in eastern Europe. These consist of a US$12 million (€12 million), six-year loan to the largest zinc smelter in the Russian Federation, at Chelyabinsk, in order to help it eliminate mercury emissions and drastically reduce emissions of sulphur oxides. The second is €15 million to the Polish city of Gliwice in the Upper Silesia region in the south of the country. Gliwice will use the money to develop more efficient wastewater collection, fewer public health hazards and less pollution in local rivers.

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