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Hydro invests venture capital in new energy

July 20, 2001, 01:00 CEST

Norsk Hydro's corporate venture capital vehicle for the energy sector, Norsk Hydro Technology Ventures (NTV), has committed five million Euros to SAM Private Equity Energy Fund LP.

The Fund is headquartered in Europe, and will invest in new forms of energy which are currently under development. The Fund's capital is expected to be in the range of 50 million Euros. Other investors besides Hydro, are primarily North American venture capital companies together with European and North American utilities and energy companies.

Investment priorities for the Energy Fund are intended to be expansion phase companies in Europe and North America, in emerging energy generation and conversion, energy management systems, energy storage and power quality and key enabling technologies. The Fund's objective is to be fully invested within three years.

SAM Private Equity Fund LP has been sponsored by SAS Sustainable Asset Management, an independent asset management company headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Established in 1995, SAM Sustainable Asset Management was among the first asset managers to specialize in the field of sustainability-driven investments, and together with Dow Jones & Company, launched the world's first index to track the performance of sustainability-driven companies worldwide.

SAM Private Equity Energy Fund LP is the second fund investment undertaken by NTV, the first being Nth Power, a California based energy venture fund. NTV was set up in March this year as a corporate venture capital fund, with an initial capital of NOK 350 million ( approx. 45 million Euros) to invest in companies developing technologies which may impact Hydro's energy operations. NTV will place emphasis on renewable energy production, power distribution, quality and storage, enabling technologies, plus carbon efficient generation. NTV will in addition be able to invest in upstream oil and gas technology.

"Now that we have made a good start in establishing our network within the European and US venture capital markets, our emphasis will move towards co-investments and direct investments in expansion-phase companies," says Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup, head of Norsk Hydro Technology Ventures.

Norsk Hydro is a leading supplier of oil and energy, light metals and plant nutrition. Its main office is in Norway, but the company operates in more than 60 countries throughout the world with a presence in every continent. Nearly 40,000 employees, more than half of whom work outside Norway, are engaged in energy production and marketing, or processing energy to create light metals and plant nutrition. The company's turnover in 2000 was NOK 157 billion with an operating income of NOK 28 billion.

Norsk Hydro Technology Ventures :  + 47 22 53 81 00

Contact : Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup

Office : + 47 22 53 70 58
Cell: + 47 95 10 95 81