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ArcelorMittal starts clean tech VC fund, carbon fund

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CIOL Bureau
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LUXEMBOURG: ArcelorMittal will be working with leading venture capital firms, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, to help finance clean technology innovation through the fund.

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The objective of the fund is to support the commercialization of clean energy technologies, which will help in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, the fund will focus on ventures that have relevance for the steel industry and its customers. The fund is managed by a team of ArcelorMittal Flat Carbon Americas (FCA) and its investment decisions are taken by a six person Investment Committee chaired by Lou Schorsch, CEO of ArcelorMittal FCA.

The Fund has made its first investment of US$20 million in Miasolé, a California-based pioneer in the development of versatile thin-film solar panels that is also backed by Bessemer Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Vantage Point Venture Partners.

Miasolé is manufacturing new solar products that utilize less semiconductor material than today’s legacy silicon modules and boasts the highest lab efficiencies of any thin film solar material. Miasolé has developed unique high volume manufacturing processes that enable efficient production of Copper Indium Gallium Selenium (CIGS) solar products on a flexible stainless steel substrate. This technology dramatically lowers the installed cost of photovoltaic (PV) systems and will enable renewable energy from the sun to replace carbon generating fossil fuels.

The company also announced that it has created a new carbon fund to strategically engage in the carbon market and promote climate friendly solutions that are relevant for the steel industry.

The fund, which has an initial investment commitment of €100 million (US$ 157 million) is currently looking at investment opportunities in renewable energy, energy efficiency, methane capture and greenhouse gas reducing technologies, all of which have the potential to generate carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol. ArcelorMittal intends to use the carbon credits received from these Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation projects for compliance in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

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