On June 12 at 2:00pm at the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel, Schulze Global Investments Limited will be hosting a Signing Ceremony to inaugurate a new private equity fund under the name Caucasus Clean Energy Fund I (“CCEF” or the “Fund”). The other two participants in the ceremony are the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (“GEEREF”) and Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG, the Development Bank of Austria (“OeEB”). GEEREF and OeEB are to become the two major institutional investors of the Fund, providing anchor commitments of $13m and $7m, respectively. The Fund will commence its actual investment activities in Georgia in the coming months.
CCEF will be focused on making equity investments into small and medium-sized hydropower plants exclusively in Georgia. Schulze Global believes that the development of many small and medium-sized hydropower plants has been slower than expected due to the fact that developers have insufficient equity available to proceed with attractive projects. Schulze Global seeks to solve this problem through CCEF making equity available to developers and thereby helping to unlock the potential of Georgia’s small and medium-sized hydropower plants.
CCEF will target projects in the range of 10-20 MW, focusing on introducing international best practices in respect of the construction and operation of plants, as well as their environmental and social management. It will also carefully consider the interests of local residents and all interested parties during the planning and implementation phases of its projects.
Schulze Global is an American private investment firm focused on the world’s most dynamic frontier. Schulze Global manages several hundred million dollars of investments across various markets in Asia, Latin America, and Africa and works in partnership with some of the world’s most prestigious institutional investors.
Mr. Gabriel Schulze, the Founder and CEO of Schulze Global, stated: “Georgia has tremendous hydropower potential and, with the right strategy, could become a clean energy hub for the entire Caucasus region. Schulze Global looks forward to participating in Georgia’s growth through the Caucasus Clean Energy Fund I.” Mr. Schulze went on to explain that “Schulze Global’s approach seeks to achieve high financial returns while at the same time making sure that our investments are having a tangible positive impact. When measuring that impact, we look at various factors: improving the governance of the companies in which we are investing; creating local employment opportunities; having a positive social and environmental impact; and serving as a strategic bridge between the United States and the frontier markets in which we operate. Here in Georgia we see an opportunity to achieve impact in virtually all of these areas.”
Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB) has been operating as the Development Bank of Austria since March 2008. It specializes in the provision of long-term finance, including loans and private equity, for the implementation of private sector projects in developing countries which create sustainable development. Additionally, OeEB provides technical assistance, which can be used to enhance the developmental impact of projects. OeEB puts special emphasize on investing in renewable energy.
GEEREF is an innovative Fund of Funds investing in specialist private equity funds focusing on small and medium-sized renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in emerging markets. GEEREF was launched in 2008 with public sector seed capital from the European Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Norway, and has recently successfully completed its fundraising from private sector investors. GEEREF is advised by the European Investment Bank Group.
The European Investment Bank (“EIB”) Group is among the largest providers of finance for climate action, in pursuit of the European Union’s goal of low-carbon and climate resilient growth. In 2014 alone, the EIB invested EUR 19.1 billion in climate action projects worldwide, and this figure reaches over EUR 90 billion for the last five years (2010-2014). The EIB opened a Regional Representation Office for the Southern Caucasus in Tbilisi on April 30, 2015, to enhance its support for the public and private sectors and strengthen relations with promoters, partner banks and other international financial institutions in the Caucasus region. EIB signed lending commitments have reached EUR 533 million in Georgia to-date.