FRANKFURT, April 13 Bilfinger is
leaving the Desertec Industrial Initiative (DII), a German
industrial group that aims to import solar and wind power from
deserts, a spokesman for the industrial services group said on
"We are not extending our contract when it expires at the
end of 2014," the spokesman said, confirming a German daily
Handelsblatt report due to be published on Monday.
Bilfinger's move is the latest in a series of blows to the
project, which was set up in 2009 with the aim of providing up
to 15 percent of Europe's power by 2050 from solar and wind
parks in North Africa and the Middle East.
German utility E.ON last week said it would quit
DII, preferring to focus on its own projects, while Siemens
and Bosch left the group in 2012 after the
two companies had made investments of their own in solar power,
which proved unsuccessful after the sector was hit by global
overcapacity and price declines.
Last year the Desertec Foundation, a supporting non-profit
initiative, also pulled out due to a row over strategy,
communication and management style.
Deutsche Bank and Munich RE are some
of the other corporate shareholders that continue to back the
(Reporting by Marilyn Gerlach; editing by Keiron Henderson)