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By Leonora Walet
HONG KONG, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Ant Global Partners Pte Ltd, a private equity firm controlled by agricultural lender Norinchukin Bank of Japan [NORB.UL], plans to raise a $250 million clean technology fund over the next three years focused on ventures such as water treatment and renewable projects in Indonesia.
Ant Global is the Singapore-based arm of Ant Capital Partners, formerly Nikko antfactory KK, which manages about $1.4 billion in assets. Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) holds a stake in Ant Capital.
“Indonesia is a very big market, with about 240 million people, accounting for two-fifths of ASEAN’s population, and yet surprisingly it’s an overlooked market for clean tech investment,” said Kim Jung Kyu, vice president for Ant Global Partners, on the sidelines of the Green Investment Summit 2009 in Hong Kong.
The fund is being raised in partnership with Indonesia ‘s finance ministry. The country’s sovereign wealth fund, Government Investment Unit (GIU) will raise 10 percent of the fund.
Ant Global aims to raise $50 million by June and complete a $100 million funding by the year-end.
“Indonesia’s geography, with its numerous islands, constitutes a unique opportunity to build a distributed energy platform. The country is endowed with an abundance of renewable sources of sunlight, wind, geothermal wells and biowaste,” Kim said.
Ant Global is eyeing waste-to-energy ventures and wind farms which could offer an investment rate of return of 20-25 percent. The private equity firm is also seeking water treatment facilities and some agriculture technology-related ventures.
A lack of power and water infrastructure in Indonesia is driving investment in those sectors, Kim said.
Fewer than 53 percent of Indonesians have access to electrical power, while only 27 percent of households have access to piped water. Fresh water availability has been a growing problem in the country, which suffers from water pollution from untreated industrial waste. (Reporting by Leonora Walet; Editing by Tony Munroe & Ian Geoghegan)