Sweden's largest wind farm faces bankruptcy

Piteå Sweden's largest wind farm, Markbygden Ett outside Piteå in Norrbotten, is facing bankruptcy.

The Swedish Tax Agency opposes a reconstruction of the Chinese-owned company that has had financial problems for several years, writes Dagens Industri.

Markbygden Ett, with 179 wind turbines, has in the last three years an accumulated loss of 2.5 billion kronor (220 million euros). Its debts now amount to SEK 6 billion (EUR 530 million).

The reason for the financial problems is a long-term contract with the Norwegian industrial group Hydro for deliveries until 2040. In the current market situation, the contract means that Markbygden Ett is selling electricity at a loss. Hydro is not interested in negotiating the contract.

In order to avoid bankruptcy, reconstruction is under way. But now the Swedish Tax Agency wants to stop the reconstruction, according to Dagens Industri. Other stakeholders who also oppose the reconstruction to continue are the customer Norwegian Hydro and the supplier American GE Energy.

The Swedish Tax Agency believes that the owner, the Chinese nuclear power company China General Nuclear Cooperation (CGN), should take the consequences of a failed "economic investment abroad".

CGN bought into Markbygden Ett in 2018 when GE sold its stake in the wind farm. CGN now owns 75% of Markbygden Ett. With its 179 wind turbines, Markbygden Ett represents about one third of the entire wind farm in Markbygden in the municipality of Piteå.

CGN controls six wind farms in Sweden. According to Dagens Industri, the company's wind farms have a combined loss of SEK 3.6 billion (EUR 320 million). The owners have invested SEK 3.4 billion (EUR 300 million) in the companies, of which SEK 2.1 billion in Markbygden Ett (EUR 190 million).

Lennart Håkansson