Fortis is launching a new Clean Energy Fund, which is not authorized for public distribution in Hong Kong. It kicks off with $50 million, courtesy of Fortis seed money and will target an ultimate size of $400 million.

The fundÆs objective is to invest in an array of clean energy power generation projects, encompassing wind power, solar, hydro and biomass. It ideally seeks to acquire 100% interests in projects that are either under construction or established with a third party undertaking maintenance and operations and yielding bond-style infrastructure returns plus a component of growth. They will not be touching nuclear power, as this fund is not of the magnitude required, plus Fortis feels that waste management issues with nuclear power production means that it is not yet a clean form of energy.

Target returns are 12% to 15% before management and performance fees of 2% and 20% respectively (plus an 8% hurdle). The fund has a duration of 10 years û five years investment and five years divestment û and there is no liquidity during that period. The fund is aimed at institutional investors globally, and minimum subscription is Ç5 million.

What Fortis feels it offers to Asian investors is access to the clean energy theme in Europe, which they perceive as having the most scope for clean energy development at present, and getting utility characteristics there along with growth potential.

Mindful of EuropeÆs clean energy potential, 70% of the fundÆs assets will be focused there in power generation and peripheral activities such as turbine manufacture. For the remainder of the capital, Fortis sees opportunities in Brazil, India and China, where carbon credits may also be available.

The fund will be managed by Joost Bergsma, Scott Lawrence and Peter Dickson, who are all based in London.