International Finance Corporation, the private investment arm of the World Bank, is likely to pick up a minor stake in a 15-MW biomass power project developed by Auro Mira Energy Company, a Tamil-Nadu based renewable energy producer. The investment will be at the project level and not at the entity level, VCCircle has learnt. A company official confirmed the development.

IFC is already providing a $5.25-million loan to the $16-million project. Auro Mira Bio Systems Kanyakumari Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Auro Mira which will develop the 15-MW plant, will sell the power to the grid, trading companies or to industrial users. Construction will begin in December while the plant will be commissioned by March 2011.

Auro Mira, in which Baring Private Equity Partners invested $50 million in 2006 for a majority stake, targets to develop, own and operate 1,000 MW in the clean energy space. Auro Mira has two biomass plants in Tamil Nadu, a 7.5-MW plant at Pudukottai and 10-MW plant near Madurai.

According to a report earlier this year, Auro Mira was also looking at another private equity round to raise $100 million. The company official, however, declined to comment on a possible PE round. The earlier report said, Baring would invest $20 million in the subsequent round.

The renewable energy space has been witnessing a lot of action in recent times. IDFC Private Equity has recently set up a subsidiary, Green Infra, to build a renewable energy portfolio comprising wind, solar, biomass and small hydel projects. Shalivahana Green Energy, which develops biomass and small hydro power projects, raised Rs 90 crore from Axis Private Equity and IL&FS Financial Services in June this year. Then there is Orient Green Power, promoted by Shriram EPC and private equity firms Bessemer Venture Partners and Olympus Capital.

Leave Your Comment(s)