26 Nov 2010 14:45

Rosnano to earmark first tranche of $150 mln for project with Plastic Logic by year end

MOSCOW. Nov 26 (Interfax) - State corporation Rosnano will start joint financing with Britain's Plastic Logic for a project for developing a facility in Russia that will produce plastic electronics, Rosnano's investment manager, Sergei Prikhodko, told journalists.

He said that the Russian corporation's supervisory board approved the investment part of the project on Thursday.

"Rosnano has approved the first tranche worth $150 million. The project starts in December," Prikhodko said.

Several sites for the new enterprise have been discussed, including those in Kaliningrad, St Petersburg and Moscow but the main option for construction is at the special economic zone (SEZ) in Zelenograd.

"Production will be intended for export. Zelenograd is offering good benefits, including tax breaks," he said. A final decision on the plant's site has yet to be made but Rosnano expects this in mid-December.

The Russian plant will produce flexible electronic displays and readers. The final products will be assembled in Taiwan or "in some other countries". The main market for the production will be the U.S.

U.S. direct investment fund Oak Investment Partners is the project's co-investor. Prikhodko did not specify total financing from the fund for the project. Rosnano plans to make the transaction's details public at the start of December.

The project also foresees the formation of a R&D center with the involvement of the Moscow State Institute of Electronic Technology (MIET), as well as the participation of other Russian institutions.

Around $30 million will go to the first stage of the center's development but this is an "operating decision," Prikhodko said.

Financing could be increased depending on the results of the center's work.

Plastic Logic is headquartered in California and has its development center in Cambridge, UK. The company has a production facility in Dresden, Germany. The company was founded in 2000 by researchers at Cambridge University.