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Energy Roundup: Paulson Hedges Chiniere, Bahrain Opens NG Bids, First Solar Goes Residential, and More

Hedge fund star Paulson betting on Cheniere -- Hedge fund manager John Paulson, who heads the $35 billion Paulson & Co., has taken a larger stake in liquefied natural gas supplier, Cheniere Energy, recently upping his position there by 2.7 million shares to claim more than 14 percent of the company. Cheniere's stock recently plummeted to 95 cents per share on a net loss of $41.1 million in the second quarter, down from $42 per share in late 2007. Is Paulson just bargain hunting? Maybe. Or maybe energy's still a good bet. [Source: N.Y. Post]

Bahrain opens bidding on natural gas exploration -- The tiny Persian Gulf island kingdom of Bahrain -- "The Kingdom of the Two Seas" -- has opened a round of bidding for exploration of its onshore natural gas fields. Twenty-five international companies have expressed interest in a process that is set to go from now into the second quarter of 2009. Officials said the move was made to help the kingdom keep pace with domestic demand. [Source: Oil and Gas Journal]

First Solar to supply 100 megawatts of thin film to U.S. residents -- Tempe, Arizona-based First Solar has entered into a five-year deal to supply 100 megawatts of thin-film solar modules to SolarCity, a solar installer, for use in U.S. residences. First Solar is to take a minority $25 million equity stake in SolarCity. This is the traditionally commercial thin film supplier's first major foray into the residential market. [Source: Reuters via Scientific American]

Aquaflow teams with Honeywell's UOP on algae biofuels -- Aquaflow Bionomic has partnered with Honeywell subsidiary, UOP, to make biofuel from algae harvested in open-air sludge ponds and waste streams. UOP's traditional business has been petrochemcial refining, but has recently moved into biofuels, launching its Renewable Energy & Chemicals business in 2006. [Source: Earth2Tech]

Avantium wins $23 million in private financing -- European biofuel and bioplastic producer, Avantium, has announced the completion of a EUR 18 million ($23 million) private financing round. Investors included: Aescap Venture, Cleantech Fund, ING Corporate Investments and Navitas Capital. [Source: TickerTech]

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