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ENGIE, Crédit Agricole add 267MW wind to joint venture

FEIH, the pair’s three-year-old tie-up, will absorb the assets operated by ENGIE-owned developer Maia Eolis into its 810MW portfolio.

A joint venture between French energy firm ENGIE and insurance group Crédit Agricole Assurances has beefed up its onshore wind portfolio with the addition of over 20 wind farms with a capacity of 267MW.

The move sees the portfolio of Maia Eolis, the French wind developer fully acquired by ENGIE in March last year, transferred to Futures Energies Investissement Holding, the partnership established by ENGIE and Crédit Agricole Assurances in December 2013.

The vehicle now operates 810MW of French wind assets after it was seeded with 440MW upon its launch. At the time, ENGIE said the move was part of its plan to own over 2GW of onshore wind in France by 2016, although this figure currently stands at just over 1.7GW. The firm says FEIH has enabled it to reduce its net debt by €400 million and expand wind operations while reducing capital expenditure.

“The aim of [this partnership] is to enlarge our shared portfolio of wind power assets in keeping with ENGIE’s ambitions of doubling its wind power capacity in France within the next five years,” said Gwenaëlle Huet, ENGIE’s chief executive of renewables in France.

Crédit Agricole Assurances said the move was part of its strategy to increase its presence in the French infrastructure market. Towards the end of last year, the firm sealed a €535 million deal alongside Vinci Airports and Caisse des Dépôts for 60 percent of the Lyon airport concession, while it also invested with AXA IM in France’s A63 motorway.