Monday, July 28, 2008

GE and Masdar team up to drive clean tech investment

Middle East cleantech hub attracts another blue chip backer

Two of the largest players in the global cleantech sector, General Electric (GE) and the Abu Dhabi government, last week announced they were joining forces as part of a multi-million dollar partnership designed to bolster clean energy research and development and accelerate the development of a cleantech hub in the Middle East.

Under the agreement, GE is to invest up to $50m in the Abu Dhabi government's second Masdar cleantech fund and also team up with the government's investment arm, Mubadala, to establish a new clean energy technology sector in the planned Masdar carbon neutral city.

The new centre will focus on developing new sustainable energy and water technologies and will also provide a home to a corporate learning centre, designed to provide training for the region's business leaders.

In addition to the cleantech investments, Mubdala has pledged to invest $200m into GE's new healthcare, energy and transportation focused Industrial Investment Partners division. The two companies have also announced plans to work together on aviation R&D and have agreed to launch a joined-owned commercial financial services business that will see each firm plough $4bn into the new business over three years.

Mubadala chief executive officer and managing director Khaldoon Al Mubarak said that the partnership fitted into the investment company's plan to focus on "high-growth businesses like clean energy, project finance and aviation".

The move also fits with GE's long-standing Ecomagination strategy that has seen it pledge to invest $1.5bn a year in cleantech R&D from 2010.

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