Masdar becomes largest shareholder in solar developer

Abu Dhabi's carbon neutral venture invests in local solar player Enviromena.

Abu Dhabi carbon-neutral venture Masdar has boosted its interests in local solar player Enviromena to become the largest shareholder in the latter’s latest investment round.

Green investment outfit Good Energies has also become a shareholder in Enviromena, joining zouk Ventures and New Energies Investment. The full total of investment stands at $15 million in equity and equity warrants.

“Institutions of this calibre investing in privately held MENA-based renewable energy ventures is unique and indicative of the sector’s growth in this region,” said Enviromena CEO Sami Khoreibi.

Enviromena will use the funds to expand operations in the MENA region.

“Enviromena has achieved much in a short period and those achievements have earned it the attention of some of the most well respected investors in this field,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar.

“We are more than happy to continue to support the company to their next stage of development both here in Abu Dhabi and beyond”.

Enviromena’s board will reflect the new shareholder base as a result of this round, with Masdar and Good Energies joining zouk Ventures with board representation.

The news is just the latest in the swift rise of Enviromena, which was formed in October 2007.

In March, the contractor completed the largest grid-connected solar power plant in the Middle East, which will power the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MIST), Masdar City’s dedicated university.

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Posted by: AVH

Jess, to nurture or support an endeavour is one thing, and there are many ways for governments to achieve that, but to buy out a major stake is to effectively control the operations and that is where the entrepreneurial part tends to get squashed. Probability apart, the possibility remains and then it remains to be seen whether it moves towards a monopolist situation or whether privately owned companies will get an equal footing. What "dismayed reader" says need not necessarily happen. The point is that it CAN happen and if it does, it would be unfortunate.

Posted by: Jess

I disagree with the comments posted below. Enviromena sounds like an entrepenurial young business and in other parts of the world entrepeneurs are given government support. Why shouldn't it be the same here? Its nice to see international investment coming into the UAE and working in conjunction with local investment. Good luck to them i say

Posted by: Ah

Wholly agree with Dismayed reader. From an innovative entrepreunerial outfit, Environmena is set to be turned into a vehicle for govt. policy. Investors would dare not compete against such an entity. This surely crowds out the private sector and discourages any investments in similar new ventures in the region.

Posted by: Dismayed reader

Does anyone expect the private sector to develop solar in the UAE and competer against the Abu Dhabi government and its nearly-free money? This not the way to stimulte the growth of this promising sector, rather it is a sure guarantee that it will never grow.

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