By 30 June, 2011

US government agency Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is backing two clean energy private equity funds, with India as their key location and with a commitment of $198 million. OPIC said that it would provide $136 million for Aloe Environment Fund III and $62 million for Renewable Energy Asia Fund. This comes after OPIC had announced an investment of $100 million in Global Environment Fund’s South Asia Clean Energy Fund last year.

OPIC also announced investments in two Africa-focused agri funds, namely Silverlands Fund and African Agricultural Fund, besides the China-focused clean energy fund Mekong Renewable Resources Fund.

Aloe Private Equity, which is raising its fourth fund and targeting $420 million, will invest in areas like renewable energy generation, recycling and energy efficiency. The fund will specifically back small and medium-sized enterprises in India and South-east Asia. Aloe Environment Fund III has already raised a $20 million commitment from Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Aloe has backed Indian firms like clean energy player Greenko Group Plc. (listed on London’s AIM) and PET bottle recycling firm Polygenta. Aloe currently manages three private equity funds: Aloe Environment Fund I, Aloe Environment Fund II and Green Investment Asia Sustainability Fund I.

OPIC is also backing Renewable Energy Asia Fund, managed by Berkeley Energy, with a $62 million investment which will increase the fund size to $187 million. The fund will target renewable energy projects and project developers in Asia, primarily India and the Philippines. It focuses on mature renewable technologies, such as wind and small hydro. Renewable Energy Asia Fund has earlier raised funding from CDC, Calvert, DEG and FMO.

Berkeley Energy, which also has an office in New Delhi, has a team of six investment professionals led by TC Kundi, who has earlier undertaken investment responsibility for more than 80 renewable energy assets at several companies like the UK’s Hanson Plc. And Waste Recycling Group (WRG).

There are several sector-focused funds looking to invest in India’s cleantech space, where infrastructure and generic growth funds are also scouting for deals. Clean energy investors active in India include BTS Advisors’ clean energy fund, Olympus Capital’s Asia Environment Partners, FE Clean Energy, Clean Resources Asia Growth Fund (managed by CLSA Capital Partners), among others.

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