Pollution rights trader Econergy to list on AIM

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The Independent Online

Econergy International, based in Colorado, plans to sell permits allowing 17 million tonnes of carbon emissions across Europe through a trading scheme administered by the United Nations.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, energy-hungry companies across Europe that exceed EU-imposed limits on emissions of carbon dioxide - widely blamed for global warming - can buy the right to pollute from investors in environmentally friendly energy projects in the developing world.

The broker Numis placed 60 million Econergy shares at 100p each with City investors including Scottish Widows, Merrill Lynch and Artemis, valuing the company at £87m.

Econergy plans to use the £55.5m it has raised to fund four further clean-energy projects in Latin America, lifting its total to 12. It expects to generate 350 megawatts of clean energy by the end of 2008.

Each project, which can generate power from wind, water or natural gas, costs between £17m and £60m.

The company believes that, in addition to generating carbon credits that can be traded in the developed world, it will also be able to the tap into growing demand for energy across Latin America and the Caribbean where power supplies are increasingly inadequate as infrastructure deteriorates.

The company said it chose to list in the UK because regulatory requirements in the US are too onerous and expensive, and the US smaller companies market is less vibrant than in London.

Tom Stoner, the chief executive of Econergy, said: "The carbon business is here in London, in terms of financing and the European market. The demand for clean energy worldwide is growing rapidly. Our dual income streams - from power revenues and the sale of carbon credits - have proved attractive for investors."

Econergy was founded in 1994 and employs 30 people in offices in the US, Mexico and Brazil.

Trading in Econergy shares starts on Thursday.