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Noy Fund in talks to invest in $200m Arava solar project

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Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The solar energy farm near Kibbutz Ketura would be the Noy Infrastructure Fund’s first venture in to the solar energy business.

Sources inform ”Globes” that the Noy Infrastructure Fund wants to invest in Arava Power Company‘s $200 million solar energy project in the Arava, by becoming a partner in the special project company that will build and operate the venture.

This would be the Noy Fund’s first venture in to the solar energy business, which until now has been considered as a highly speculative sector by the fund’s financial institution backers, including Poalim Capital Markets – Investment Bank Ltd. And Clal Insurance Enterprises Holdings Ltd. (TASE: CLIS), Menorah Mivtachim Holdings Ltd. (TASE: MORA), DS Apex Holdings Ltd. (TASE:DSAP).

Noy Fund’s rival, Israel Infrastructure Fund (IIF) has said that it will not invest in solar energy projects.

Arava Power plans to build a 40-megawatt solar energy farm on a 650-dunam (162.5-acre) site near Kibbutz Ketura. Arava Power is owned by Kibbutz Ketura, Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; DAX: SIE), private Israeli and US investors, and the Jewish National Fund. The company operates Israel’s first solar energy farm, a small 4.9-megawatt project.

Noy Infrastructure Fund has acquired the government’s right to 49% of Derech Eretz Highways Ltd., the franchisee of the Road 6 Cross Israel Highway toll road, for NIS 1.4 billion and 40% of Haifa’s Metronit electric bus system for NIS 45 million.