Does anyone remember Vestas?
The struggling Danish fan maker used to be a “big player” in Australia’s wind industry – having sold hundreds of its turbines here. But – with Australia’s wind industry on the ropes – Vestas just seems to have lost interest in Australia – because we’ve hardly heard a peep out of them for ages.
It seems like aeons since Vestas launched its risible “Act on Facts” campaign – aimed at foiling the work done by STT (and others) – and in an effort to quell the growing community backlash against giant fans that blew up all over rural Australia (see our post here).
Launching its fan-propaganda campaign last June, Vestas trotted out the usual band of eco-fascist suspects, including a former tobacco advertising guru – who pitches himself as an “expert” on, well, just about everything.
Lately, he’s even taken to pontificating about energy market economics – citing Spain as his prime example of sound energy policy; no, REALLY, Spain. Yep, that’s right, the Country with 26% unemployment – that’s bankrupted itself by throwing mountains of taxpayer’s money at wind power – only to pull the plug on wind power subsidies, as power prices spiralled out of control, the thousands of promised “green” jobs failed to materialise and the money ran out (see our post here). He even cites Germany as a model for energy policy – no, seriously – we’re supposed to follow the lead of a Country where close to a million households have been chopped from the grid, thanks to the insane cost of renewable energy and, notwithstanding all that human misery, CO2 emissions have increased (see our post here). For a good belly laugh – see this fantastic story. What’s that you say about overreach?
Anyway, we digress. Vestas went on the propaganda front foot, spending $millions in Australia to “shape the debate” – paying its team of dilettante advocates and juvenile propagandists a bucket of loot to “win hearts and minds” – and threw a fat pile of cash at the Australian Greens in their futile efforts to unseat STT Champion, SA Senator, Nick Xenophon at the Federal election last September (see our post here).
The Greens continue to pocket mountains of wind industry money – and remain surprisingly coy about the bulging war chest they used for their campaign during the recent re-run of the Western Australian Senate election, refusing to say just who the big donor was. We think the key donor starts with the letter “V”.
Instead of spending $millions hectoring Australians to “Act on Facts” and bankrolling the Greens, Vestas would have been better served keeping its cheque-book in the top drawer and dealing with more serious matters, much closer to home.
You see, Vestas is, apparently, run by a bunch of crooks – who seem very keen to line their own pockets at shareholders’ expense. Here’s The Copenhagen Post on just how low these boys can go.
Vestas scandal continues to widen
The Copenhagen Post
7 May 2014
Vestas reported Nørremark to the financial crimes office back in December 2012 because of some financial transactions in India
The Danish financial crimes office’s 18-month investigation into a former Vestas head of finance, Henrik Nørremark, has taken a dramatic turn and has been expanded to include a number of other former Vestas bosses.
The police unit is now looking into whether the former bosses had abused their positions to secure private financial gains through business dealings in the wind turbine industry.
“I can confirm that it looks as if some employees, who have had their own companies, have engaged in various forms of business which could be in conflict with the interests of Vestas,” Henrik Helmer Steen, the head of the financial crimes office, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.
Steen added that it was too early to say whether current employees are also deemed to be involved in the case.
Vestas reported Nørremark to the financial crimes office back in May 2013 because of some financial transactions in India, but in the last few weeks it has emerged that the wind turbine giant has lodged another police report in Germany due to other transactions involving Hans Jørn Rieks, a former head of Vestas Central Europe. That case is connected with the Nørremark case, police say.
“The connection is that we can recognise the investigative theme in the Germany case from our own case,” Steen said. “They involve the employees’ own companies, whose business is apparently linked to Vestas’ business.”
Nørremark has rejected any notion of wrongdoing, while Rieks has refused to comment on the situation. Vestas has been tight-lipped on the subject, but said that it has undertaken several internal investigations since the two former bosses left the company.
The Copenhagen Post
Very unlike Vestas to be “tight-lipped”.
STT can hardly think of any other company that’s ever been more “loose-lipped”?
What’s the matter boys, rampant corporate malfeasance not the kind of “FACT” the public should know about?
Here’s The Copenhagen Post from May last year detailing the origins of the Vesta’s scandal.
Vestas report former financial head to police
The Copenhagen Post
24 May 2013
Questionable dealings with Indian partner cost wind turbine giant 140 million kroner
A dispute between wind turbine maker Vestas and its former financial head, Henrik Nørremark, is now in the hands of the public prosecutor for economic and international crime, Statsadvokaten for Særlig Økonomisk og International Kriminalitet, more commonly known as the financial police.
The case hinges on Nørremark’s relationship with a Vestas partner in India. Nørremark is accused of making decisions that he was not empowered to make that cost the company 140 million kroner.
Police have started their investigation, speaking to senior mangers, employees and Vestas’s CEO, Ditlev Engel.
The company said that it intends to hold Nørremark financially responsible if he is found culpable for costing the company money.
“The Vestas board wants every part of this case scrutinized, and we want the missing money back,” Vestas’s board chairman, Bert Nordberg, said in a statement. “We first had external lawyers and accountants carry out an extensive investigation that showed that the board and the head of the company were not involved in or aware of these transactions.”
The statement said that the independent investigation was unable to discover where the missing money was spent, prompting the company to turn the matter over to the financial police.
Nørremark allegedly entered into agreements with Indian partners who forgave debts of 33 million kroner and invested more than 107 million kroner in a project in India.
The huge investment was far more than Nørremark was allowed to make, according to company spokesperson Morton Albæk, who said that any expenditure that large was subject to approval by Engel and others.
Both the board and Engel deny knowing the details of the India deal.
Nørremark’s lawyer declined comment on the case but said that he was not surprised that it had been turned over to the police.
Nørremark has previously said through his lawyer that he belived that providing the debt relief was within his powers and that the remaining funds were lost in India on purchasing and developing land for a wind farm project that did not materialize.
Nørremark was fired in early 2012. In October of that year, Vestas announced that it had ceased payment of Nørremark’s severance package as a result of the allegations against him.
The Copenhagen Post
This couldn’t be happening to a nicer bunch of lads.