UK firm building $500 mln fund for Asian environmental projects

March 01, 2012

Less than two weeks after Hong Kong-based First Eastern Investment Group took a stake in UK investment firm Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDC) the British company has announced plans to raise USD500 million for specialist funds and companies involved in Asian environmental projects.

SDC chief executive Jonathan Maxwell told Reuters that the London-based investment and advisory company will tap pension funds, private equity firms and wealthy individuals for investments over the next two to three years.

He said it is targeting projects dealing with water treatment, sustainable land management and low-carbon transport systems and will also seek equity and debt financing to develop USD100 million worth of projects in Asia designed to improve energy and resource efficiency.

 We view energy efficiency as the largest source of clean energy and greenhouse gas emission cuts and almost certainly the most profitable source of clean energy that doesn’t require massive state subsidies,” said Maxwell, referring to wind farms or solar projects that need state perks to be profitable.

The firm will develop energy efficiency projects through its newly formed 50-50 joint venture in Hong Kong with First Eastern, which has invested in several infrastructure and financial projects in China, Maxwell told Reuters.