Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; XETRA: SIE) had made its first solar energy investment in Israel, acquiring a 40% stake in Arava Power Company Ltd. for $15 million. The acquisition was made while Siemens is in talks to acquire Solel Solar Systems Ltd. Siemens invested in the company through its Siemens Project Ventures unit.
Arava Power is a leader in photovoltaic systems for the generation of electricity. Kibbutz Ketura owns 40% of the company, and a group of US Jewish investors led by company president Yosef Abramowitz own the rest. The acquisition was made at a company value of $37.5 million.
Siemens and Arava Power also signed a framework agreement to build solar power plants with a total capacity of 40 megawatts. The first project will be the construction of a 4.9-megawatt facility at Kibbutz Ketura, which already has an electricity production license from the Public Utilities Authority (Electricity).
Siemens president and CEO Peter Loscher said, "This investment is another step in the direction of strengthening our environmental and sustainable technologies. Israel is an ideal location to develop our solar business thanks to its strong sunlight and constant need for energy."
Arava Power CEO Jonathan Cohen said, "Siemens is the ideal partner for Arava Power. Our strategic partnership will enable Israel to realize its goals for clean air and renewable energy more quickly than expected."
Arava Power was founded in 2006. It is headquartered in Kibbutz Ketura, and has 20 employees.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 28, 2009
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