NEW DELHI : Three large bidders have entered the last lap for acquiring solar projects totalling 350 megawatts (MW) from O2 Power, promoted by Singapore’s Temasek and European alternative asset manager EQT, two people close to the development said.
These include Gentari Sdn Bhd, a unit of Malaysia’s state-run oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Bhd; Edelweiss Infrastructure Yield Plus Fund’s Sekura Energy Ltd; and private equity firm Actis Llp, the people said on condition of anonymity.
The transaction, having an equity and enterprise value of $50 million and $200 million, respectively, is being managed by EY, with these three bidders shortlisted from around a dozen non-binding offers (NBOs) that were submitted.
Gentari, Edelweiss and Actis are actively scouting for opportunities in India’s green economy and are also in the race for buying 185MW solar projects from Finnish state-run power utility Fortum Oyj, as reported by Mint earlier. Actis, which invests only in emerging markets, has so far committed $2.1 billion to India. It is also vying for Macquarie Asset Management’s Green Investment Group (MAM-GIG) platform Vibrant Energy, for which India’s quasi-sovereign wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Ltd is also in the race. Actis now has its third clean energy firm BluPine Energy, in the space, after selling Sprng Energy and Ostro Energy to Shell Plc and ReNew Power Ventures Pvt. Ltd, respectively.
An EY spokesperson declined to comment. Queries emailed to the spokespersons for Gentari, Petronas, Edelweiss, Actis and O2 Power on 12 September remained unanswered till press time.
O2 Power is a renewable energy platform in India, targeting around 5 gigawatts (GW) portfolio over the next five years. Founded by former ReNew Power executives—Parag Sharma, Peeyush Mohit, Rakesh Garg and Nimish Agrwal—O2 Power already has a 2.6GW portfolio, of which 600MW has been commissioned.
Mint has reported on several deals brewing in India’s green energy sector, including Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) competing for Fortum Oyj’s Indian solar projects totalling 185 MW. Also, ReNew Energy Global Plc recently announced an equal joint venture with Gentari to develop 5GW capacity, wherein Gentari Renewables India Pte. Ltd will have a 50% equity stake in Nasdaq-listed ReNew’s utility-scale 5GW renewable energy portfolio comprising solar, wind and energy storage projects.
India’s green energy space has witnessed considerable interest, given the country’s ever-increasing demand for power. Power demand reached a new record of 239.9GW recently, crossing India’s power sector planning body, the Central Electricity Authority’s (CEA) projections of 230GW. India has an installed renewable energy capacity of 172GW, with an additional 128GW either under development or have been bid out.
India is also leveraging its green economy to forge global energy alliances. A recent case in point is India and Saudi Arabia signing an agreement to link their power grids through a subsea cable that will help the two nations with improving grid security in the backdrop of infirm power sources such as wind and solar.
India also plans to leverage the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the first treaty-based international government organization headquartered in India, to help project its solar power expertise to other countries. India is also championing the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG), which seeks to transfer solar power generated in one region to feed the electricity demands of others. The global grid plan has been spread across three phases. The first phase deals with the Middle East—South Asia—-South East Asia (MESASEA) interconnection for sharing green energy sources such as solar for meeting electricity needs, including peak demand. While the second phase deals with the MESASEA grid getting interconnected with the African power pools, the third and final phase is about global interconnection.
Also, the climate change conference (COP28), to be held later this year, aims to secure an annual $100 billion in climate finance for developing nations.