July 5, 2011

New Mekong fund to foster renewable resources

[VietNamNet Bridge] 

Fund management company Indochina Capital Corporation (Indochina Capital) announced yesterday that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) had approved US$50 million in financing for its Mekong Renewable Resources Fund (MRRF).

The fund will invest in renewable resource opportunities in the Lower Mekong region.

MRRF is sponsored by the Viet Nam-focused fund management Indochina Capital, operating in Viet Nam since 1999.

In December 2010, OPIC's President Elizabeth Littlefield pledged at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, to provide financing for new private equity investment funds targeting renewable resources-related projects in emerging markets.

Later that month, OPIC announced a Global Resources Fund call for proposals, which received 56 applications.

From this pool of applicants, five funds including MRRF were awarded financing and are anticipated to receive a total of approximately $500 million, which will facilitate more than $1.5 billion in investments.

MRRF is a regional fund that will invest in projects and companies focused on renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, environmental infrastructure and natural resources preservation in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos.

In addition to financing provided by OPIC, Indochina Capital is targeting to raise US$150 million, with the aim to channel private sector and development capital into critically needed environmental and renewable resource investments in the Lower Mekong region.

Peter R Ryder, CEO of Indochina Capital, said that "against the backdrop of strong economic expansion, the region presents great potential for investing in environmental services, renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable forestry."

"There is an attractive pipeline of commercially viable investment opportunities in companies engaged in renewable resources-related projects in the region," he said, adding that the manager has already begun to identify potential investments, with the intention to invest in a diversified portfolio of expansion and greenfield projects in the fund's target region.

The fund will focus on renewable resource investments, including waste-to-energy, recycling, solid waste management, sustainable forestry projects, wastewater treatment and clean-water initiatives.

Renewable energy investments may include wind, small hydro, solar, and biomass, while energy efficiency investments entail renovations to existing power plants, agricultural processing and industrial facilities.

OPIC is the US Government's development finance institution, which mobilises private capital to address critical world challenges.

OPIC provides investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds.


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