Suzlon Group signs framework contract for up to 250 MW for French wind projects

“This agreement is the start of the breakthrough of the REpower 3.XM series in France, after the successful ramp-up in other European markets,” said Andreas Nauen, CEO, REpower Systems S.

Suzlon Group-subsidiary, REpower Systems SE, has signed a framework contract with Maia Eolis for the supply of up to 250 megawatts (MW) for onshore wind farms in France. The project is scheduled for delivery between 2012 and 2015.

The agreement strengthens the strategic alliance started with the first contract signed in 2004. The contract comprises REpower's best selling turbines-the MM82 and MM92-with a nominal power of 2 MW, and the new REpower 3.4M1054 and the 3.2M114 with 3.4 and 3.2 MW rated power respectively. The 3 MW series is the company's latest onshore development for sites with medium to low wind speeds.

Andreas Nauen, CEO-REpower Systems SE, said on the agreement: "We are delighted that Maia Eolis has confirmed REpower as strategic provider for wind turbines in the coming years. This agreement is the start of the breakthrough of the REpower 3.XM series in France, after the successful ramp-up in other European markets. Moreover, our 3.XM series ideally suits the conditions on the French wind market."

Tulsi Tanti, chairman, Suzlon Group said: "This is an important agreement for the Group, it underscores our competitive product offerings and our strong positioning in what is a key market for wind energy in Europe."

In the early afternoon, Suzlon Energy was trading at Rs29.95 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 3.1% up from the previous close.

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Bank of Maharashtra reduces base rate by 10 bps

The Bench Mark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR) of the Bank of Maharashtra shall continue to remain unchanged at 15% p.a. on monthly compounding basis

Bank of Maharashtra has announced that the Base Rate of the bank is reduced by 10 basis points (bps) from 10.70% p.a. to 10.60% p.a on monthly compounding basis, with effect from 21 February 2012.

The Bench Mark Prime Lending Rate (BPLR) of the bank shall continue to remain unchanged at 15% p.a. on monthly compounding basis.

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EPFO may fix minimum pension at Rs1,000 per month

“Board meeting will discuss proposal to issue contribution cards similar to bank passbook,” said DL Sachdev, EPFO trustee

Retirement fund body EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund of India) may take a final decision on fixing the minimum pension for its subscribers at Rs1,000 per month, at a meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) scheduled on 22 February 2012.

"The EPFO's apex decision-making body the CBT could fix minimum pension at Rs1,000 per month for its subscribers, at a meeting this month," All India Trade India Congress Secretary DL Sachdev told PTI.

Mr Sachdev, who is also an EPFO trustee, said the proposal was listed on the agenda for the CBT meet on 22 February 2012. The trustee said the CBT would also discuss the proposal to issue contribution cards similar to bank passbooks to over 4.72 crore subscribers, which would be updated on a monthly basis from 1 April 2012.

According to EPFO data, as of 31 March 2010, there were 35 lakh pensioners subscribed to the retirement fund body, of which 14 lakh persons get a monthly pension of less than Rs500. The number of EPFO pensioners getting a monthly pension of Rs1,000 is 7 lakh. The data reveals there are cases where pensioners are getting a monthly pension as low as Rs12 and Rs38.

As per estimates, the proposal to hike the minimum pension to Rs1,000 per month will require an additional contribution of 0.63% of subscribers' basic pay and dearness allowance to the pension account. The hike in contribution will be over and above the 8.33% contributed by employers toward the pension account of employees, as well as the 1.16% provided by the government under the scheme.

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