Energy

Building on our extensive experience in the energy sector, we continued increasing our financing of energy projects in 2011. Sustainable energy projects (including renewables) are gaining momentum globally, particularly in emerging markets, and this was reflected in our expanding energy project portfolio. Our energy financing portfolio grew to a record high of €1,017 million (2010: €690 million) or 17% of FMO's overall portfolio. FMO's new commitments in renewable energy in 2011 (€228 million) represented 65% of our new energy portfolio commitments, far above the 40% target in line with our renewable energy strategy.

FMO participated in groundbreaking energy transactions last year. These included our first investment in a solar photovoltaics energy generation facility, near Arequipa in Peru. This technology converts daylight into electrical power using solar panels. The two new plants will be the first large-scale solar photovoltaic energy projects in Latin America.

We participated in a number of energy funds last year. We committed US $20 million to Equis Asia Fund, which focuses on equity investments in the infrastructure and energy sectors in Asia. In addition, our private equity team invested €10 million in the Clean Energy Transition Fund, which will help realize projects ranging from hydropower plants to solar energy to wind parks, primarily in Turkey. We also made our first private equity co-investment in the wind energy sector, in a 96MW wind park in India, together with the Renewable Energy Asia Fund, a fund we committed to in 2009.

In 2011, our energy and private equity teams closed the Addax Bioethanol greenfield project in Sierra Leone. This is the first large scale bioenergy project to be brought to financial close in Africa, and the largest post-conflict agricultural project to be developed in Sierra Leone. The investment includes an ethanol production facility and plant that will use bagasse (byproduct from ethanol production) as feedstock, delivering 15 MW excess power to the grid under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with a government guarantee. This makes Addax the first independent power producer (IPP) in Sierra Leone. FMO and Emerging Africa together played a major role in catalyzing additional funding from other partners for this project.

Although energy projects often take a long time to become viable for finance, FMO participated in a record number of deals in Africa in 2011. We took part in five private sector energy projects there - not only a milestone for us, but also the first time in the past decade that five private sector projects have been financed in Africa in a single year.