IFC likely to lend $150 mn to ACME Jaipur Solar Power

International Finance Corporation, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, is likely to provide debt financing worth $150 million (around Rs 960 crore) to ACME Jaipur Solar Power Pvt. Ltd to construct a 250 MW solar power plant in Madhya Pradesh.

IFC will provide $50 million by subscribing to non-convertible debentures (NCDs) and mobilise a loan worth $100 million from other lenders, it said in a disclosure. The project is estimated to cost around $200 million.

In February 2017, ACME Solar Holdings Ltd had won a bid to set up the 250 MW plant at the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Park in Madhya Pradesh.

ACME Solar is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACME Cleantech Solutions Pvt. Ltd. ACME Jaipur Solar Power, a subsidiary of ACME Solar, will undertake the project development, construction, financing, operations and maintenance of the plant.

The plant is likely to be commissioned by November 2018 and the power generated will be sold to Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Ltd and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.

The Madhya Pradesh government has appointed IFC as the lead transaction adviser to facilitate private investment for the Rewa solar project.

Earlier this week, IFC proposed to provide debt finance of $150 million (Rs 960 crore) to Actis-owned Solenergi for constructing a 250 MW solar power plant in the Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Park. The park is set to house three units of 250 MW each.

In 2015, IFC had provided $50 million debt finance to one of ACME Solar’s power plants in Rajasthan. But ACME Solar is no longer associated with the project as it has been handed over to France’s EDF Energies Nouvelles as part of an asset swap, according to the disclosure.

In November 2016, ACME Cleantech Solutions raised Rs 500 crore ($73 million) from billionaire Ajay Piramal-controlled Piramal Enterprises Ltd and Dutch pension fund APG Asset Management NV to buy out French firm EDF Energies Nouvelle and Luxembourg-based EREN Renewable Energy, which held a 25% stake each in group company ACME Solar Energy Pvt. Ltd.

ACME Solar is an independent power producer, which builds, owns and operates solar power plants in India. It has an operating capacity of over 809 MW solar projects in India.

ACME Group was founded by Manoj Upadhyay in 2003. The group is into energy, environmental and telecommunications infrastructure solutions.

IFC has both direct and indirect exposure to Indian companies. It often acts as a limited partner to local private equity and venture capital funds.

IFC joined hands with Tata Group to create the first private sector ‘green investment bank’ in India, called Tata Cleantech Capital Ltd. In May, IFC said it had planned to invest $40 million in Tata Cleantech.

IFC has emerged as a large investor in the renewable energy space.

Last year, it had invested $125 million in Hero Future Energies.

IFC had also invested in Azure Power and provided debt funding to Actis-backed Ostro Energy.

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