Marking its foray into wind power, Essar Global's power business has signed a licensing agreement with Germany's REpower Systems for the design and manufacture of wind turbines in India and marketing in South-East Asia.

The agreement covers 1.5MW and 2MW wind turbines. The two companies have also agreed to set up a joint venture in the near future that will allow access to 3MW and 5MW turbines, as well other future developments.

REpower’s 1.5MW turbine installations in Germany operate with an average availability of approximately 99%. This technology is ideally suited for Indian wind conditions, Essar believes. The Indian market for wind energy is the largest in Asia and the fourth largest on a global scale. India has wind resources to harvest around 45,000MW of power.

Essar proposes to set up the manufacturing plant in a port-based location. The company expects to start commercial production by the middle of next year.

We are happy to be associated with REpower for our foray into the wind energy business, commented Anshuman Ruia, director of Essar Power. The agreement comes at a time when there is a huge demand for power in India and it also fits in perfectly with our strategy of diversifying into renewable energy sources.

Essar currently operates four power plants with a capacity of over 1,000MW.