Eurowind OÜ board member Andres Sõnajalg said Mr Stigell was the one who contacted them: «He found us, having heard of the Estonian turbine technology, and visited us in Tallinn wishing to expand in wind energy developments.»
Mr Sõnajalg says they trusted the man who has developed wind farms elsewhere in Europe. As an example of that, Mr Stigell was involved in the building of the Lillgrund farm between Denmark and Sweden, largest on Baltic Sea at the time.
«That provided for strong basis to trust him as business partner,» said Mr Sõnajalg. «I may confirm that after we begun cooperation we personally have had no reason to reconsider our opinion regarding him. According to our experience, he is a man of his word who has always met his obligations in a timely manner.»
Through a Panama-registered company Eurowind East Europe West Asia (E3WA), Mr Stigell is partner in Eurowind OÜ since 2008.All in all, E3WA has loaned Eurowind €517,735 which used to be split into short and long term loans but is now reflected in annual report as long-term loan only.
«Mr Stigell’s investment was a partner’s loan which was a prerequisite for him acquiring a holding. It is an investment obligation,» said Mr Sõnajalg. He added that the money has been spent on development of the wind farm including completion of connection, explorations and proceeding the plans. «As a rule, such investment loans are paid back to owners from company profits,» he noted.
The Sindi wind farm project, under development for a decade and for a while hindered by bickering between interest groups, has according to Mr Sõnajalg now come to the planning being established. In agreement with parish government, they have decided a new location in Nurme Marsh where building conditions are worse but the winds better.
The Sõnajalg brothers want to fit the farm with turbines produced by their own company Eleon. «Therefore, for a longer while we are also in negotiations to buy the foreign partner out of this project and to erect the wind farm with Estonian capital only,» said Andres Sõnajalg.
«Of his disputes with the Swedish state, what we know is that this is a very old dispute in which he was acquitted by the court of highest instance,» said Mr Sõnajalg regarding Mr Stigell.
That is not quite the case. According to Swedish tax board Skatteverket pres rep Christina Lindqvist Sjöström, Mr Stigell continually has tax arrears with Sweden. As at April 26th, his arrears stood at 132,312,791 Swedish kronor (€14,442,578) and it keep growing as interests keep piling. Only four years back, he owed 124 million kronor (€13.54m).