Darby Invests in Korean wind farm

The Seoul-based joint venture fund between Darby Overseas Investments and Hana Bank has invested 35bn Korean won to help expand the generating capacity of Gangwon Wind Power.

Darby Hana Infrastructure Fund Management, which is owned 70 percent by Darby Overseas Investments and and 30 percent by Korea’s Hana Bank, has invested about 35 billion Korean won ($25.8 million) to acquire a 32.4 percent stake in Gangwon Wind Power, a Korean wind farm.

Established in 2001, the company owns a wind farm in Korea’s Gangwon Province and it had more than half the country’s installed wind power capacity as of the end of 2007.

Gangwon Wind Power is in a good position to expand further by re-powering existing turbines or developing additional capacity, David Hudson, Darby’s senior managing director for Asia and global infrastructure, said in a statement.

The investment was made out of the Korea Emerging Infrastructure Fund, a 580 billion won vehicle focused on making investments in and providing mezzanine loans to various sectors such as renewable energy, transportation, environment, logistics, energy and utilities. The fund has invested about 210 billion won in six investments, Woonki Sung, the chief executive officer of Darby Hana Infrastructure Fund Management, said in an interview.

The fund’s previous investments include Daochun Greenwater, a water treatment company; waste treatment companies Energy Network, Myungsung Environment, and ERG Services; and Seoul Beltway, a toll road.

Darby Overseas Investments, which is the private equity arm of investment manager Franklin Templeton Investments, closed the $204 million Brazil Mezzanine Infrastructure Fund in partnership with Status Group, a Brazilian private equity manager and adviser, in October 2008. It is currently raising a $200 million infrastructure fund for Mexico, according to data released by placement agent Probitas Partners.