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EnerCap Power Fund: Profit from the winds of change

Central and eastern Europe used to be notorious for pollution-belching power stations and factories but the region could now be a key player in the fight against climate change through the use of renewable energy sources. That’s certainly the hope of Michael White, managing partner of EnerCap Capital Partners, whose EnerCap Power Fund is seeking to raise €100 million to invest in renewable energy projects.

Ahead of its mid-March first close, EnerCap has built a €1 billion-plus project pipeline for the fund, which is the first of its kind. The target region includes the 10 European Union member states in central and eastern Europe as well as the bordering countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Some 80% of the fund’s capital will be used in the target region, with the balance available for projects in western Europe, the UK and Scandinavia. Investments will range from €5 million to €20 million, with maximum exposure to a single investment set at 20% of the total committed capital.

EnerCap is looking to generate a minimum gross internal rate of return of 25% on its investments, which will typically be exited within three to five years. Over the next six months investments include three wind power projects in Poland and Croatia, a bioethanol and biomass plant in the Czech Republic and a gas co-generation plant in Slovakia. Overall EnerCap estimates that the region needs to develop nearly 5,000 MW of capacity by 2010 at a cost of €10 billion if it is to meet the renewable energy targets set by the EU and the Kyoto Protocol.

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