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Rise Capital seeks investors for Russian energy

The firm, in which Dubai’s Nekton Global took a 50% stake this week, is seeking capital for projects in the Yamal-Nenets region.

Infrastructure investment firm Rise Capital has signed a formal strategic partnership with Yamal-Nenets autonomous district governor, Dmitri Kobylkin, to attract new capital into the energy-rich region.

Rise Capital will seek to secure capital from Middle Eastern and Asian investors for large-scale infrastructure projects of strategic importance in Yamal-Nenets and the Arctic zone.

One of the projects under consideration is constructing part of the Northern Latitudinal Railway, a project located in the Urals Federal District, which would connect the region’s main hydrocarbon deposits and allow the “safe and efficient” transportation of resources and goods.

Rise Capital is part of a working group reviewing financing mechanisms and construction processes for the project including potential public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements as well as conducting preliminary negotiations with foreign investors.

“It is an honour to be given the opportunity to sign this historic strategic partnership agreement, which will see us working with our Russian colleagues in helping to attract significant new international investment to one of Russia’s most strategically important districts and realising some of its most important infrastructure projects,” said Gerard Lopez, chairman of the board of Rise Capital, in a statement.

The Yamal Peninsula is an immensely important energy location. With 238 oil and gas fields, it is home to 70 percent of all Russian crude reserves and 20 percent of all global production. Almost 60 oil and gas companies are currently active in the region including Gazprom, Rosneft and Lukoil.

Earlier this week, Dubai-based energy merchant business Nekton Global, chaired by Lopez, took a 50 percent stake in Rise Capital, a Russian private equity firm focused on energy, transport and social infrastructure investments.

Rise Capital, which was formed in 2013, claims to have a future pipeline of 45 potential projects, with investment ticket sizes in these projects ranging from $500 million to $2 billion (equity and debt combined). The firm says it will seek to increase its investment capacity over the next five years to approximately $12 billion.

Based in Luxembourg, Lopez is a founding partner of venture capital firm Mangrove Capital, which has funded high-tech success stories including video chat firm Skype, cloud-based web developer Wix and instant messaging firm Nimbuzz.

Lopez is also the founder of Genii Capital, which invests in real estate, finance and the automotive sector, and is chairman of Formula One motor racing team Lotus F1.