AC Energy invests in Myanmar

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    Ayala-led power generation firm AC Energy Inc. has added another international market to its footprint after it signed a maiden joint venture agreement in Myanmar with Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd.

    The 50:50 joint venture that is yet to be named will invest at least $30 million into Yoma Strategic’s affiliate firm Yoma Micro Power (S) Pte. Ltd. to develop around 200 megawatts of additional renewable energy projects in Myanmar, including participation in large utility scale renewable projects.

    At present, Yoma Strategic holds 35 percent, while Norfund and IFC hold 30 percent each in Yoma Micro Power and the remaining 5 percent is owned by Alakesh Chetia, the latter’s managing director.

    After the investment and restructuring that is planned for next year, the AC Energy-Yoma Strategic joint venture is expected to own at least 50 percent of Yoma Micro Power.

    “Supply of electricity is one of the largest opportunities in Myanmar and also one of the biggest bottlenecks for economic development. We are excited to have AC Energy as our partner to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth,” said Melvyn Pun, Yoma Strategic chief executive officer.

    “AC Energy’s international expertise in the renewable energy sector and the access to funding will be invaluable as we work together to service this huge, underserved market in Myanmar,” Pun said in a statement.

    He also said renewable energy investments in Myanmar have the potential to generate a sizeable revenue stream with recurring cashflow to complement Yoma Strategic’s core businesses, as the country has one of the lowest electrification rates in Asia with more than 60 percent of the population still without access to grid electricity.

    Patrice Clausse, AC Energy Renewables chief operating officer, said the partnership is part of the Ayala Group’s efforts to achieve its goal to exceed 5 gigawatts (GW) of attributable capacity and generate at least 50 percent of energy from renewables by 2025.

    At present, Yoma Micro Power’s portfolio is only composed of micro power plants and mini-grids that provide electricity to off-grid rural communities and telecommunications towers in Myanmar.

    It is currently rolling out 250 micro power plants by end-2019 and is expected to scale up to more than 2,000 sites by 2023 after completing a 10-site pilot project