Acciona in solar-farm bid
Acciona SA, the Spanish renewable energy company, has joined Pacific Hydro Pty in a venture seeking Australian funds to build the Moree solar farm in Australia’s New South Wales after partner BP PLC dropped out. Acciona will provide engineering and construction services to the solar power project, while Pacific Hydro and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures will take up the ownership stake previously held by BP, Melbourne-based Pacific Hydro said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The venture will sign a power supply accord with Pacific Hydro, according to the statement. While the partners in the proposed A$923 million (US$987 million) solar plant won government funds last year, they failed to sign a power-purchase agreement in time to reach a December financing deadline. That prompted the government to reopen the funding competition to other bidders.
France, Microsoft partner up
French minister Frederic Lefebvre and Microsoft on Saturday announced a partnership to cultivate promising Internet startups in France. The US technology titan will work with the agency for the creation of enterprises headed by Alain Belais to identify young French companies to join a Microsoft BizSpark program, Lefebvre said in a press release. The program will provide selected startups with Windows Azure storage capacity and free access to software offered by Microsoft as services in the Internet “cloud,” according to Lefebvre. French Internet startups with “high growth potential” will be eligible to get two years worth of online services from Microsoft. The development of small and medium enterprises is vital “to support innovation, value creation and employment in France,” Lefebvre said.
Price-fixing case in court
The former chairman of Depo Auto Parts Industrial Co (帝寶工業) agreed to plead guilty to participating in a price-fixing conspiracy, the US Justice Department said in an e-mailed statement. According to a felony charge filed on Friday in a US District Court in San Francisco, Hsu Shiu-min (許敘銘) conspired to eliminate competition by fixing the prices of aftermarket auto lights, according to the statement. Depo Auto Parts, based in Taiwan, sells the lights that are used in repairs following a collision or as accessories and upgrades. “The international price-fixing conspiracy in the aftermarket auto lights industry caused harm to businesses and consumers,” Sharis Pozen, acting assistant attorney general in charge of the US Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, said in the statement.
China gives national stadium
The Bahamas is unveiling a national stadium that China built for more than US$50 million as the Asian country ramps up investment across the archipelago. Government officials from the Bahamas and China inaugurated the 15,000-seat Thomas A. Robinson Stadium late on Saturday. Bahaman Sports Minister Charles Maynard said the stadium was a gift with no strings attached. The stadium was built using only Chinese materials and labor, and further cements the growing relationship between the two countries. China also expects to build a US$50 million sports and recreational village around the stadium. China’s state-owned Export-Import Bank is building the US$2.6 billion Baha Mar resort complex in New Providence and has agreed to provide a US$41 million loan to build a new port and bridge in the Bahamas.