$46bn Oman’s sovereign wealth fund invests in Our Next Energy
The Oman Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of Oman, is expanding its green investment portfolio by pushing into the sustainable battery market in the U.S. as the $46 billion investment giant has agreed to allocate fresh funds to Our Next Energy.
Oman-based Ibrahim Al-Eisri, OIA’s director of private equity, declined to disclose any financial details but confirmed to Net Zero Investor the deal involves a "significant minority stake".
He pointed out that, under the agreement, Our Next Energy will develop energy storage solutions and look into battery manufacturing opportunities in Oman.
The firm, which was founded by Apple veteran Mujeeb Ijaz, makes a logical investment in OIA's green investment drive, Al-Eisri explained.
“Electric vehicles are the future, and we are making sure to be a key player in the energy transformation to ensure the growth and sustainability of the electric vehicles’ market as an environmentally responsible investor,” he said.
The deal follows other recent capital allocations, into Ascend Elements, a U.S.-based manufacturer of sustainable battery materials for electric vehicles, as well as Group14, a manufacturer of Silicon-carbonate battery materials.
Oman has invested billions in recent years in renewable energy solutions, particularly green hydrogen.
"As part of the shift away from oil, the OIA is diversifying its overseas deals to optimize benefits for Oman in terms of return on investments and sustainability that fit with the country’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050," the investment fund said recently.
The OIA recently reported that its annual returns had jumped by 8.8%, with its total assets under management nearing $46.6 billion.
Among its major assets, the OIA fully owns Oman’s main energy holding company OQ, which was set up to centralise the state’s oil and gas investments.
In December, the OIA said it plans to spend close to $1.4 billion on investments this year. It recently struck a partnership with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, The Public Investment Fund, to joint invest in sustainable solutions for Oman's economy, which depends heavily on fossil fuels.
OIA's investment comes only weeks after another major Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, made a significant allocation to a sustainable battery firm in the U.S.
As reported by Net Zero Investor, the QIA teamed up Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek and investment giant BlackRock to invest in U.S.-based Ascend Elements, the same firm OIA earlier invested in.
Temasek and BlackRock launched a joint venture called Decarbonization Partners (DP), which has around $1 billion in capital. DP agreed to invest $460 million in Ascend Elements.
The Qatar Investment Authority has joined the investment with an undisclosed amount but this publication understands the Qatari sovereign wealth fund is not part of the joint venture.