JUNE 9, 2024

OIA’s direct investments target green energy, tech startups in 2023

Green energy and climate tech firms were among six international start-ups that received funding infusions from Oman Investment Authority (OIA) in 2023 – part of the wealth fund’s continuing efforts to align with prominent players in the global clean tech industry with the underlying goal of facilitating the transfer of their technologies into Oman.

The list includes Our Next Energy (ONE), a US-based startup specializing in innovative electric car battery and energy storage technology. “A strategic cooperation agreement has been signed with ONE to determine likely areas of collaboration in energy storage and battery manufacturing in Oman,” said OIA in its 2023 Annual Report issued here last week.

Another recipient of investment from OIA is Jurata, also US-based, which is credited with pioneering the development of novel thin film technology, which enables the storage and transportation of biological materials without relying on cold chain infrastructure.

Earlier, OIA announced a direct investment in Electric Hydrogen (EH2), an American company specializing in developing and manufacturing electrolyzers using Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology to produce green hydrogen. “Electric Hydrogen and OIA have signed a strategic cooperation agreement to launch a green hydrogen production project using PEM technology and localize the electrolyzer industry,” said OIA in its report.

Italy’s Energy Dome, a start-up that provides long-duration energy storage using a thermodynamic CO2 system, is also backed by OIA. Energy Oman has entered into a partnership with Takhzeen, a local Omani company, to promote this technology in Oman.

More recently, Australian green energy startup Hysata announced that it has receiving funding support for OIA. The company has pioneered the development of a new kind of electrolyzer based on technology has the potential to spark change in green hydrogen production economies.

Among the six beneficiaries of OIA direct investments in 2023 was Omani tech firm eMushrif. Founded by Omani engineers, eMushrif has harnessed the power of IoT technologies to develop safety monitoring solutions for students on school buses. OIA’s venture capital fund IDO Investments enhanced its investments in eMushrif to support the latter’s expansion.

OIA’s direct investments represent one of three arms that together make up its Future Generation Fund (FGF), whose portfolio has ballooned to RO 7.065 billion as of 2023-end. The top performer was the Public Markets arm, which achieved high returns of 9.8%, exceeding the 5% target annual return for the Future Generations Fund.

“This is attributable to global equity’s strong performance throughout the year, reinforced by projected profits from the AI industry, positive economic indicators, and profits from companies that surpassed expectations,” said OIA in its report.

The Private Markets arm, on the other hand, reported investments in 13 global funds last year. The list includes Platinum Investment Fund, which invests in manufacturing, chemical materials, and distribution; the Global Infrastructure Fund, which invests in North America, Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, and Latin America; and the Chinese fund 5Y, which focuses on consumer innovation, information technology, and life sciences.

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