ISLAMABAD, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Wärtsilä Corporation, a leading power solutions supplier, and the Manara Consortium (Manara) have formed a unique joint venture - Manara Wartsila Power Ltd (MWP), which aims to become the leading developer of decentralized independent power producer (IPP) projects in Islamic countries. MWP will develop, sponsor and invest in IPPs utilizing Wärtsilä's leading edge reciprocating engine technology.

Manara comprises four leading regional investment groups, who, together with 3i Group plc, have sponsored Manara Infrastructure Fund LP (MIF), a private equity fund created to invest in infrastructure and infrastructure-related growth opportunities in Islamic countries. Among the sectors targeted by MIF include power and water, oil and gas, transportation and telecommunications. Manara's investment in MWP will later be transferred to MIF.

MWP is expected to have US$200 million in equity, out of which US$100 million has already been committed by the two shareholders at inception. Manara is the majority owner of MWP with an initial equity commitment of US$80 million. The equity commitment of Wärtsilä to the joint venture, through its development and financing arm, Wartsila Development & Financial Services (WDFS), will total US$20 million.

MWP will develop and invest in power projects with a capacity of between 50 and 200 MW, and sell electricity to electric utilities, industrial zones and municipalities. MWP will also seek to partner with strong local sponsors, who can provide valuable local knowledge and complementary development capabilities.

MWP will operate from Bahrain and will initially focus its efforts on Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. MWP has an extensive project pipeline and expects to deploy the initial US$100 million equity in a number of IPPs in advanced stages of development in these countries.

Together, Wartsila and Manara bring to MWP extensive and proven track records of power plant development and infrastructure investment expertise.

"The timing is excellent for MWP," says Adeeb Ahmad, CEO of Manara. "The entire region is witnessing unprecedented growth, and the demand for power supply is at record levels. Regional governments are actively seeking private sector participation in the power sector, and we believe that 50 to 200 MW solutions based upon Wärtsilä's flexible technology can play an effective role in plugging the existing gap."

"We are delighted to have this joint venture with Manara as it will further strengthen our offering for power solutions in the region. The economic development and growth outlook in the target countries will lead to interesting opportunities for Wärtsilä," says Christoph Vitzthum, Group Vice President, Power Plants for Wartsila Corporation.

Manara Infrastructure Fund LP

MIF is a $1 billion* infrastructure private equity fund that brings together experienced private equity investors and a proven management team. MIF was established to capitalise on the growing investment needs within the infrastructure and infrastructure-related sectors in Islamic countries.

MIF's mandate is to take minority stakes in attractive infrastructure and infrastructure-related growth opportunities in its target sectors which include power and water, oil and gas/petrochemicals, transportation, telecommunications, basic industries/natural resources, social infrastructure and infrastructure-related sectors.

MIF's strategy includes the creation of regional platform companies, development of unique investment opportunities in partnership with reputable operators, participation in selective privatizations, and acquisition of stakes in attractive projects in various stages of development, including greenfield ventures. * Target size

Wärtsilä Power Plants

Wärtsilä has state-of-the-art power solution technology with the capability to operate at the highest efficiency with outstanding fuel flexibility, ranging from various gases to bio and heavy fuel oils. Wärtsilä's flexible power plants also offer fast dispatch capability, efficient part-load operations, and modular units for easy future expansions. These plants typically range in size up to 300 MW, based on multiple engines from Wärtsilä 's range of reciprocating engines.

Wärtsilä Power Plants has a long history and extensive experience in the design and building of decentralized power plants, executing close to 100 projects a year and with a current 40 GW of decentralized power plants installed or on order in more than 165 countries.

Wärtsilä Development & Financial Services (WDFS)

Wärtsilä Development & Financial Services (WDFS) has, since its start-up in the early nineties, successfully developed and financially closed more than 2500 MW of global IPP projects. The projects have had strong local sponsors with WDFS taking minority stakes in several projects. WDFS also offers financial services to Wärtsilä customers.

Wärtsilä in brief

Wärtsilä enhances the business of its customers by providing them with complete lifecycle power solutions. When creating better and environmentally compatible technologies, Wärtsilä focuses on the marine and energy markets with products and solutions as well as services. Through innovative products and services, Wärtsilä sets out to be the most valued business partner of all its customers. This is achieved by the dedication of more than 17,000 professionals manning 160 Wärtsilä locations in 70 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on The Nordic Exchange in Helsinki, Finland.

For further information, please contact: Mr Nauman Ahmad Regional Director, Middle East Wärtsilä Power Plants Tel: +971-50-7082471 Tel. +358-408616469 Email: Mr Markus Pietikäinen Vice President Wärtsilä Development & Finance Services Tel. +358-405253024 Email: Manara Consortium Mr Salman Ahmed PO Box 75714 Kingdom of Bahrain Tel. +973-17-811-548 Fax. +973-17-824-086 Email

For further information, please contact: Mr Nauman Ahmad, Regional Director, Middle East, Wärtsilä Power Plants, Tel: +971-50-7082471, Tel. +358-408616469, Email:; Mr Markus Pietikäinen, Vice President, Wärtsilä Development & Finance Services, Tel. +358-405253024, Email:; Manara Consortium, Mr Salman Ahmed, PO Box 75714, Kingdom of Bahrain, Tel. +973-17-811-548, Fax. +973-17-824-086, Email