Friday, May 23, 2008

IC Green Energy and Yom-Tov Samia

Yom-Tov Samia, former head of the IDF's Southern Command and now the Director of IC Green Energy, a subsidiary of Israel Corp., gave an interesting, no-nonsense presentation on his company's areas of activity and strategies for cleantech investment at the Renewable Energy and Beyond conference at Tel Aviv University (see this post for more observations from the conference).

According to Samia, the transition to renewable energy is no longer a question of choice, but rather a necessity in order to effectively address: (1) national security through energy independence; and (2) environmental concerns and greenhouse gas emissions.

Samia outlined IC Green Energy's "12-12 Vision" to be one of the 12 leading companies worldwide in the field of renewable energy by 2012. In order to achieve this goal, the company aims to process 4-5% of the global biofuel market (~4 million tons) and construct 2-3 significant renewable energy (biomass or solar) power plants in the next few years.

IC Green Energy's areas of activity are:

      • biofuels – biodiesel and ethanol – based on existing, 1st generation technologies (just for market entry)
      • energy from biomass – based on developing, 2nd generation technologies
      • solar energy (photovoltaics and concentrating solar power)
      • advanced technologies for clean energy
      • carbon trading
The company's key strategies are to:

        1. be big or go home – size does count; strive for measurable presence
        2. act with strong, strategic local partners
        3. vertical integrate, when practical, its supply chain
        4. plan, organize and produce globally while acting regionally/locally
        5. gain advantages in:
          • cutting edge technologies
          • risk management though purchase of raw materials and product sales
          • local logistics and cost-effective production
Samia says that approximately 60% of IC Green Energy's renewable energy investment will be in solar technologies, and the remaining investment will be in biofuels. While the company is clearly focused on making a profit, its business strategy is apparently also taking social concerns into account . Accordingly, its biofuel production will be based solely on non-edible feedstock such as Jatropha, Castor, cellulosic biomass and algae. As Samia explained, "We will not take bread from the poor to produce gasoline for the rich!"

IC Green Energy had made 3 undisclosed investments so far, and Samia hinted that a major investment related to cellulosic ethanol is in the works and might be announced soon.

Related posts:

IC Green Energy to enter Negev solar power plant tender