Environment, February 21: Hudson Clean Energy Partners in China waste-to-energy move

RI’s regular round-up of environmental investing news

Leading US cleantech investing firm Hudson Clean Energy Partners has bought a minority stake in a Chinese solid waste-to-energy and tap water/wastewater treatment projects company GSE Investment Corporation. GSEI is controlled by Asian private equity firm MBK Partners. Financial details were not disclosed. Announcement

Citigroup’s global head of environment finance and sustainability, Michael Eckhart, has called for a global development finance institution to help assess the risk of renewable energy projects, according to a Bloomberg report. A detailed plan could be presented at the United Nations Rio+20 summit in June, he was quoted saying.

Brazil: the Environment Ministry and the BNDES development institution have launched a new credit line to support sustainability projects focused on greenhouse gas reduction and climate change solutions. It was established under Brazil’s National Climate Change Fund, a new instrument to encourage private, municipal and state investments. Announcement

Climate Change Capital’s acquisition by US agricultural commodity trading firm Bunge could get the go-ahead within a month, according to reports quoting the UK investment house’s founder James Cameron. “We are awaiting [Financial Services Authority] approval. We are nearly there,” Cameron was quoted as saying in an interview with Reuters.

General Electric (GE) and the UK’s not-for profit Carbon Trust have announced a partnership to accelerate European clean tech with the launch of a low carbon incubation fund. The initial 18-month phase of the deal includes a $5m fund targeted at new low carbon technologies in the area of infrastructure applications.

Standard Chartered Bank has agreed a three-year structured term loan facility, worth up to $100m, with Trina Solar (Changzhou) Science & Technology Co. Ltd., the China-based arm of New York-listed solar photovoltaic module firm Trina Solar Ltd. Link

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says it achieved a record level of sustainable energy investments in 2011. The EBRD’s funding under its Sustainable Energy Initiative, reached €2.6bn in 2011 with 111 operations, up 21% from 2010. This accounted for almost 30% of the EBRD’s total 2011 investments of €9bn. Announcement

Corporate Knights, the Canadian media and research group, has published its first S&P 500 Clean Capitalism Ranking. It rates companies on eleven transparent quantitative indicators, including carbon productivity (revenue/carbon emissions), ratio of highest executive-to-average employee wages, and per cent of tax paid in cash. Link*German reinsurance giant Munich Re* could have revenues of €500m a year within five years from insuring renewable energy projects, according to a Bloomberg report citing management board member Thomas Blunck. He was quoted saying the insurer makes a “double- digit million” euro figure from the business at the moment.

Dublin-based environmental asset manager, Kleinwort Benson, has published a white paper looking at investment opportunities around the theme of resource scarcity: Link

CDC Climat, the climate change subsidiary of French state investor Caisse des Depots, has announced that parcel firm GeoPost has chosen CDC Climat for its “carbon markets expertise and for the variety of high-quality offset schemes that it is able to offer”. GeoPost is part of national postal service La Poste.
The World Bank could increase the size of its green bond issues to the $300-$500m range this year, according to a Reuters report citing Christopher Flensborg, head of sustainable products at Swedish bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), one of the lead managers.

The UK’s Environment Bank has launched the first online ‘conservation credit’ trading platform with sustainability platform Mission Markets. The initiative will allow conservation groups, farmers and landowners to register their wildlife sites so as to provide ‘conservation credits’; these credits will then be available to developers to offset their impacts on biodiversity. Link

Rockspring Property Investment Managers, the real estate firm with €7.5bn in assets, has announced the completion of a solar photovoltaic (PV) project at its recently acquired Grays Shopping Centre in Essex, UK. Planning has also been secured for solar projects at two of Rockspring’s other retail assets in the UK, in Romford and Southampton.

The Co-operative Group says it has loaned £700m to green energy projects in the past year, as part of its latest ethical plan. The mutually owned business added that it has cut operational greenhouse gas emissions by 35% and water consumption by 20%.

Lloyds Bank Wholesale Banking & Markets and KfW IPEX-Bank have agreed financing with Renewable Energy Systems, the UK renewables project firm, for its 17.1MW Roos Wind Farm in Yorkshire, northern England. The facility will consist of nine turbines from Vestas and the power will be sold to Scottish Power, according to reports.