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EcoSecurities plans expansion in India, sets up Mumbai office

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Feb 22: EcoSecurities Group Plc, one of the world's leading originators of carbon credit projects, today announced plans for expansion in India with the launch of its office in Mumbai.

With this, EcoSecurities--a listed company on the London Stock Exchange--became one of the first international companies to establish local presence and dedicate resources for the development of the Indian carbon credit market, which is projected to be about US 40-50 million dollars annually, said Dr Pedro Moura Costa, EcoSecurities Founder, President and Chief Operating Officer.

Briefing newspersons here today, Dr Costa said the company has plans to make significant investments in the origination, implementation and commercialisation of a significant number of carbon credit projects in India.

EcoSecurities Director-India Ishani Chattopadhyay said the potential for structuring and commercialsing carbon credits in India is underpinned by the Indian government's commitment to the market, having already approved 227 projects. This could translate into approximately USD 250 million certified carbon emission reduction (CER) units with a potential revenue generating capacity of around USD 1.25 billion (around Rs 5,562.5 crore), assuming an average selling price of USD five per CER.

Dr Costa said EcoSecurities will engage with Indian firms for the creation of carbon credits, with no upfront costs to the assisted companies.

''A unique value proposition of EcoSecurities is that it does not charge project development any upfront fees, until the carbon credit revenue is realised,'' he said.

This activity will focus primarily on Indian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) developing CDM (clean development mechanism) projects in sectors such as sugar, paper and pulp, nitrate-based fertilisers, cement, renewable energy, biofuels and biomass, he said. In addition, the company also plans to engage in project investment and development activities, in which it will partner with asset owners to provide the capital, technology and CDM expertise required for the development of these projects, he said.

To a query, Dr Costa said project development and investment activities will be focused primarily in methane capture and destruction projects, involving technologies such as waste management and electrification, and bio-digestion of agricultural residues. EcoSecurities strategy is based on filling the current funding gap of these sectors by catalysing innovative means of project finance, he added.

Ms Chattopadhyay said, ''Although the SME sector constitutes about 40 per cent of the Indian industry, it has remained largely unaware of the potential of the CDM and so has not taken advantage of its potential.'' ''The company plans to focus on the SME sector in neighbouring states like Rajasthan and Gujarat, besides Maharashtra, as we believe that 50 per cent of the CER units could be generated from grassroots level activity in those areas,'' said she.

To a query, Ms Chattopadhyay said India's potential for CER is huge with a revenue generating capacity of around USD 1.25 billion, assuming an average selling price of USD 5 per CER.

However, she pointed out, ''the other side of the coin'' is that India is more of a consulting rather than transaction-driven market.

''One needs to realise that the market is binary -- either you get credits or you don't -- in the sense, there is nothing in between,'' she said, adding, that the proven track record in international project registration is the ''KEY''. For this, Ms Chattopadhyay said, one needed to choose CDM project partners with care -- work with someone who understands the various technical implications of CDM.


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