September 6, 2010 / 9:45 AM / 9 years ago

Czech CEZ suspends works at Romania wind park

BUCHAREST, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Czech utility CEZ CEZPsp.PR stopped work at its 1.1 billion euro wind energy park in southern Romania at the end of August due to a dispute over construction permits with local authorities, it said on Monday.

The two-stage 600 megawatt wind park in the southern Romanian villages of Fantanele and Cogealac is one of the largest ongoing investments in recession-hit Romania. Foreign investors have shown interest in developing wind energy in the largely untapped European Union state.

While CEZ has already installed 115 turbines at its Fantanele site and connected 90 of them to the grid, work at Cogealac has been slow because local authorities have contested CEZ’s permits.

“We have confidence that the situation will work out,” said Iulia Borsan, the head of CEZ Romania’s external communication office. “We know all our documents are in order.”

It was unclear how long it would take before work at Cogealac can resume, Borsan said. The company was also uncertain whether the delay would hurt the project’s original 2011 completion deadline, Borsan added.

Local authorities have not given a specific reason for contesting the construction permits.

The area around Cogealac is also of interest for Spanish Iberdrola Renovables IBR.MC, which plans to build the world’s largest wind park in Romania by 2017. (Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Michael Kahn and Alison Birrane)

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