France launches 10-billion euro tender for wind turbines

January 25, 2011
Windmills in eastern France, 2010. President Nicolas Sarkozy said France was seeking bidders for a 10-billion euro (13.6 billion dollar) contract to build the country's first offshore wind-power facilities.

President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday France was seeking bidders for a 10-billion euro (13.6 billion dollar) contract to build the country's first offshore wind-power facilities.

"Our aim is to have an outstanding national sector emerge to build the means to produce these off-shore and to look towards exporting them," he said in a speech in the western port of Saint-Nazaire.

Around 10,000 jobs will be created in the sector, Sarkozy said.

The tender will be opened in the second quarter of this year, officials added. Six hundred turbines are to be built at a number of sites along France's lengthy Atlantic and Channel coasts.

The aim is to create production capacity of 3,000 megawatts of electricity generated from 10 different sites, officials at the ecology and energy ministry have said.

The first wind turbines resulting from this tender are not due to be up and running before 2015.

By 2020 the government says it hopes for wind turbines with a production capacity of 6,000 .

France produces 80 percent of its from nuclear plants and currently only a tiny amount from wind turbines.

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