Essel Infra's Solar IPP gets Rs900-cr funding from Piramal Enterprises, APG

Essel Infrastructure's Solar IPP platform has received investment offers worth Rs900 crore ($132 million) from Piramal Enterprises Limited's Structured Investment Group and Dutch pension fund asset manager APG Asset Management.

As part of the transaction, Piramal Enterprises Limited (PEL) and APG Asset Management (APG) will jointly invest Rs900 crore ($132 million) in Essel Green Energy Private Ltd, the solar platform vehicle of Essel Infraprojects Ltd.

Essel Green Energy Private Ltd currently owns 160 MWs of Solar IPP assets in four states of India, of which, 110 MW is operational and 50 MW is currently under execution.

Ernst and Young India was the financial advisor to the Essel Group for the transaction.

Essel Infraprojects Limited (EIL) an enterprise of Subash Chandra-led Essel Group, plans to ramp up its solar power capacity to 1,000 MW in the next 2-3 years. Essel Green Energy has been one of the pioneers in the solar sector in India with the first 50 MW project in Uttar Pradesh to its credit.

"The strategic alliance formed in 2014 between PEL and APG committed $1 billion for investments in infrastructure companies and we see great potential in green energy as a segment. Given the government's focus on non-conventional energy and Essel Infra's strong track-record, we are confident that the investment will yield good results'', said Jayesh Desai, co-head, Structured Investments Group- Piramal Enterprises Ltd.

 ''We view India as an attractive renewable energy market with favorable growth dynamics. APG is a strong supporter of increased investments in sustainable energy generation. We are pleased to support Essel Green Energy in growing its portfolio of solar projects and to contribute to meeting India's renewable energy targets,'' Hans-Martin Aerts, head of Infrastructure Investments Asia Pacific at APG said

''Essel Group has ambitious plans to expand its foot-print in the green energy field. With the impetus provided by the central government to solar energy we are upbeat about the outlook for the industry,'' Essel Infraprojects Limited CEO and whole time director Ashok Agarwal said.

India, with current capacity of 300 gigawatts of grid connected electricity, aims to increase its solar installations from below 5GW now to 100GW by 2022 - more than double the present solar capacity of China and Germany, the two biggest solar nations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has championed solar power and helped launch a global solar alliance at the Paris climate summit to mobilise an attention-grabbing $1-trillion of funds worldwide by 2030.