Marking its foray into one of the fastest growing economies of the world, Gulf Finance House (GFH), in association with Gulf Energy, today announced their plans to develop India’s first integrated energy business district – Energy City India, with an estimated development value of US$ 2 billion.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the Government of the western Indian State of Maharashtra, to facilitate the creation of this ambitious project.
The MOU was signed by Shri V.K. Jairath, Secretary – Industries, Government of Maharashtra, and Mr Esam Janahi the Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Gulf Finance House, in the presence of Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
Late last year, Gulf Energy announced its intention of creating a Pan-Asian network of energy-focused business districts or centres, the first of which - the US$ 2.6 billion Energy City Qatar - was unveiled in March 2006.
The prestigious Lusail area in Doha, Qatar, is the designated location for Energy City Qatar, while Energy City India will be developed on approximately 300 acres of land near Mumbai in Maharashtra, India.
GFH is being assisted by Valuable Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. in the suitability and final feasibility studies for the Energy City India land acquisition. GFH also plans to develop a further two such hubs in other Asian markets, details of which will be announced early next year.
The Energy City concept involves the masterplanning and construction of an integrated business centre that specializes in the provision of complete business infrastructure for leading oil & gas producers, both local and international, downstream refiners and producers, support services, shipping and energy trading businesses. An important component of the Energy City concept is the International Mercantile Exchange (IMEX), which will provide a platform for electronic trading of energy contracts and derivatives.
Commenting on Energy City India, Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh, Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra, said: “The Indian energy sector is growing rapidly as consumption expands to fuel the high economic growth of India. We have seen unprecedented developments in the establishment of energy related infrastructure and capacity in India. In addition, Indian companies have expanded their energy interests by acquiring businesses and assets outside India.
“Energy City India is a concept whose time has come. The importance of energy to our future prosperity cannot be underestimated. I am very pleased at this initiative, and that the project will be based in Maharashtra. We welcome this initiative by Gulf Finance House, another example of foreign investment in our country.” Shri Deshmukh further stated that GFH will directly acquire the land for this project.
The Energy City concept was developed by both GFH and Gulf Energy, an international energy consulting firm.
Elaborating on the Energy City concept, Mr Esam Janahi, Chief Executive and Board Member of GFH, and Chairman of Gulf Energy said: “India is one of the largest energy markets in the world along with China, with a rapidly rising consumption rate. Some forecasts suggest that Indian consumption could double to 5.3 million barrels a day by 2025.
“We have observed India’s proactive and successful efforts to attract inward investments. We have also seen evidence of dynamism in India’s energy sector. Significant advances have been made in the areas of renewable and alternative energy sources, the development of energy-related technology platforms and Research & Development.
On the choice of Maharashtra for the location of the project, Mr. Janahi said: “The Maharashtra Government’s pro-industry, pro-investment policy, its strategic position in India’s energy sector and, most importantly, the immense support extended by the Honourable Chief Minister and his team, were the key deciding factors behind our decision to locate the project in Maharashtra.”
“We are currently working with our Indian consultants and our architects to finalise the specific components of the project, after which we will commence the master-planning exercise. We are assessing potential sites for suitability and expect to conclude site acquisition very soon. We are looking at an investment of up to US$ 2 billion for this land mark development.
“Our Energy City Qatar project is progressing very well, the master plan has been finalized and a programme of road shows is underway. More than US$ 500 million has been raised from our clients to finance the first phases of this project. Gulf Finance House was appointed as the Lead Financial Consultants while Hess Energy Company and PFC Energy have been engaged as principal consultants on various aspects of the project, including the creation and design of IMEX,” Mr Janahi added.
Energy City Qatar was privileged to receive the personal endorsement of Mr. Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft Corporation and Mr. John T Chambers, Chairman of Cisco Systems Inc. ECQ has also entered into technology partnerships with both Microsoft and Cisco. Energy City has an International Advisory Body comprising of eminent experts from the business world, particularly from the energy and energy-related sectors. The board includes Mr. Henri Philippe Reichstul from Brazil, Mr. Simon Tay from Singapore, Mr. Bernard De Combret from France, Mr. Harald Norvik from Norway and Mr. Richard H. Matzke from USA.
A leading investment bank in GCC, GFH has promoted or sponsored some of the largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects in the Middle East and North Africa region. Currently, GFH is managing projects exceeding US$ 12 billion in value. These include Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) in the Kingdom of Bahrain; Legends Dubailand theme park project in Dubai; Al Areen Desert Spa & Resort project in the Kingdom of Bahrain; Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Mousaed Economic City in Saudi Arabia and Gateway to Morroco in Morocco. This apart, the bank also has significant investment interests in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Egypt.
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