International Finance Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank Group, has invested $4 million in Sapphire Industrial Infrastructures Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Moser Baer Clean Energy Ltd. Sapphire Industrial is constructing a 5 MW solar plant at Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu.

The financing comes from Global Environment Facility for which IFC acted as an implementing agency, to support thin-film technology in India. The Global Environment Facility is a network of international institutions, non-governmental organisations and private sector space that provide funding to address global environmental issues.

The plant, with a capacity of 8 million units a year, is expected to do away with approximately 6,600 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emission annually.

Moser Baer Clean Energy is a subsidiary of Moser Baer Projects Pvt Ltd, which plans to commission 5,000 MW by 2016, comprising of 4,000 MW of thermal, 500 MW of solar and 500 MW of hydro capacity.

Part of the Moser Baer group, the company has already sold a significant minority stake to private equity major Blackstone for $300 million (Rs 1,350 crore) last year.

Earlier, the group said that it plans to raise $100 million in 2011-12 to fund its solar power projects.

IFC has also put money in several other solar power-related firms in India in the past two years including SunBorne Energy, NDPL Solar, Applied Solar and Azure Power.

“India is keen to diversify its energy mix by pursuing climate-friendly renewable technologies. The successful commissioning of this first large-scale thin-film solar photovoltaic plant demonstrates the private sector’s ability to rise to the challenges associated with achieving a balanced energy mix,” said Anita George, IFC director for infrastructure in Asia.

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