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Infrastructure & PPPs in India - Q22021 Update - Power & Renewable Energy

INDIA's renewable energy story saw both local & global investors making strides in development of new projects. Power transmission has seen renewed activity with new projects announced to keep up the pace of evacuation infrastructure for new projects.

Read more about key developments in Infrastructure and PPPs in Q2/2021 in India in power & renewable energy sector our latest insight.

This is first publication on a 2-part insight series on India.

June 2021

BROOKFIELD TO DEVELOP INDIA SOLAR PROJECT WITH ACME SOLAR

Clean energy company ACME Solar and Canadian infrastructure investor Brookfield Renewable Partners have agreed to develop a 450 MW solar power project in India's Rajasthan state. The project, when operational, will sell power to the state of Maharashtra through a 25-year power purchase agreement with Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd, which is also the largest electricity distribution utility in India.

The project is set to provide power to over a million households in the country. Gurugram-headquartered ACME Solar owns a portfolio capacity of 5 GW across 13 states in India. The company's portfolio includes 2.3 GW in operating capacity and 2.7 GW in under-construction power projects.

In June 2021, the company agreed to sell a 50% stake in a 900 MW solar project, also in Rajasthan, to Norwegian clean energy company Scatec. The project, which is estimated to cost USD 400Mn, will be 75%-financed through debt and the remaining will be in the form of equity from ACME and Scatec.


ADANI'S POWER TRANSMISSION UNIT SEEKS TO RAISE USD 337M

Adani Transmission - India's largest private sector transmission and distribution company by assets - is looking to raise INR 25Bn (USD 337Mn) to fund its expansion in the country. The company will seek approval from its shareholders in July during an annual general meeting to raise the amount through various options including issuing equity shares, debentures, and securities. The capital could be raised in one or more tranches and other currencies.

Adani Transmission, owned by Indian conglomerate Adani Group, operates across 12 states in the country with assets spanning 13,027 circuit km. The company is looking to grow its transmission lines to 20,000 circuit km in India by 2022. Adani Transmission acquired an incomplete power transmission project from Essel Infraprojects at an enterprise value of INR 33.7bn. The Warora Kurnool project was initially scheduled to start operations in November 2019 and was awarded to Essel in 2016 in the build, own, operate, maintain (BOOM) model.

In November 2020, Adani completed the acquisition of a 49% stake in Alipurduar Transmission from Kalpataru Power Transmission for an enterprise value of about INR 13bn. The deal included an agreement to acquire the remaining 51% in the project that operates power lines totalling 650 circuit km in West Bengal and Bihar states in eastern India. Adani sold a 25.1% stake in Adani Energy Mumbai Ltd (AEML) in 2020 for INR 32bn to Qatar Investment Authority. Adani Transmission used the equity proceeds of INR 12bn from the proceeds to repay perpetual debt and the INR 20bn was kept as a capital buffer for growth.


INDIAN INFRA DEVELOPER SECURES FINANCING FOR CITY GAS DISTRIBUTION

Infrastructure developer Ashoka Buildcon has tied up financing for city gas distribution projects in the Indian states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. The company secured financing of INR 5.43Bn (USD 73Mn) from domestic commercial banks Punjab National Bank and HDFC Bank at a rate of 8.75%.

Ashoka's city gas platform - called Unison Enviro - backed by Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure, will draw down the debt over the next two years, The platform would invest INR 1.6bn in equity at a later stage. It has already invested INR 1.3bn in equity so far. Ashoka Buildcon received INR 1.5bn from Morgan Stanley India in exchange for a 49% stake in Unison Enviro. The remaining 51% is held by the Indian developer.

Unison Enviro has licenses from the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board to develop the city gas distribution business in Ratnagiri, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Latur and Osmanabad districts across two states. The company is developing the gas distribution infrastructure for the supply of piped natural gas to domestic, commercial, and industrial consumers and compressed natural gas for vehicles.


INDIAN DEVELOPER GETS DEBT FOR 250 MW SOLAR PROJECT

Renewable’s developer ACME Solar has secured debt finance for the development of a 250 MW solar power project in India's Rajasthan state. Indian state-owned firm Power Finance Corporation (PFC) will lend about USD 150Mn to the project, while ACME Solar and its partners will provide USD 50Mn as equity finance.

ACME Solar's partners in the project are Denmark-based Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and development fund UNOPS Sustainable Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation (S3i), each investing 51%, 39% and 10%, respectively, as part of their equity contribution.

The solar project is set to provide clean electricity to about 500,000 households in India. It will be an addition to ACME's existing portfolio capacity of 5 GW across 13 states in India. The company owns about 2.3 GW as operating renewable power projects, while 2.7 GW is in under construction. Earlier In June 2021 ACME agreed to sell a 50% stake in a 900 MW solar project in Rajasthan to Norwegian clean energy company Scatec Solar. The project, estimated to cost USD 400Mn, will finance 75% of its cost through debt from an Indian state-owned lender.

In 2020, The company sold a 100 MW solar power portfolio in Karnataka to Petronas-owned Indian rooftop solar company Amplus for an undisclosed amount, and a 400 MW solar portfolio in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to Actis.


STERLITE ARRANGES DEBT FINANCE FOR TRANSMISSION PROJECT

India's Sterlite Power has reached financial close for an interstate transmission system in the southern part of the country. The company arranged debt funding of INR 5.8Bn (USD 79Mn) for the project - called Udupi-Kasargode - from Indian state-owned power sector lender REC. It did not disclose the total cost of the transmission project.

The Udupi-Kasargode transmission project includes the construction of a 1000MVA 400/220 kV Gas Insulated Substation (GIS), a 400kV (Quad) D/c transmission line of over 240 circuit km from Udupi in Karnataka to Kasargode in Kerala and the installation of two 400kV line bays and bus bar extension at Udupi switchyard.

The project is a part of Sterlite's equal partnership with global investment manager AMP Capital to develop greenfield power transmission projects in India. There are four projects under the partnership, with a circuit length of almost 1,800km across the western, southern, and northeastern parts of India.

In December 2020, Sterlite and AMP Capital teamed up to invest a combined USD 300Mn in Indian transmission projects and also contribute debt financing, taking the total capital outlay to USD 1Bn.

Sterlite owns power transmission infrastructure with projects of over 13,700 circuit km and 26,100 MVA in India and Brazil. The company also sponsored India’s first power sector Infrastructure Investment Trust (InvIT) IndiGrid, which is backed by investors including KKR and Singapore's GIC.


SAUDI FIRM'S 300 MW INDIA PROJECT REACHES FINANCIAL CLOSE

Saudi Arabian company Alfanar Energy has reached financial close for its 300 MW wind power project to be developed in India's Gujarat state. Mumbai-based L&T Infrastructure Finance will lend about INR 14Bn (USD 192Mn) to the project. The wind project, which will be in Bhuj district, was awarded in 2018 to the Saudi Arabian company's renewable energy unit Alfanar Global Development as part of Solar Energy Corporation of India's (SECI) 1.2 GW Tranche V wind power tender. The project will sell power to SECI at a fixed rate of INR 2.77 per kWh.

In 2020, Riyadh-based EPC and development company was in talks with other lenders including the Indian state-owned firm Power Finance Corporation (PFC), Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), State Bank of India and IndusInd bank to finance the wind project.

Alfanar owns a second 300 MW wind power asset, also in Bhuj, which started operations in May 2021. The company also won this project through a SECI wind tender while L&T Infrastructure was the underwriter for its entire debt of INR 14bn. In May 2020, L&T Infrastructure sold some of the debt to PFC in line with its business model of originating and underwriting debt and then selling part of it.

Alfanar has added another 600 MW of greenfield wind power projects to its portfolio in India. The company started operations as a manufacturer of low, medium, and high voltage electrical construction products as well as a provider of EPC solutions for conventional and renewable power plants, allied engineering services and design engineering.


SEVEN COMPANIES EXPRESS INTEREST FOR INDIA POWER TRANSMISSION PROJECT

Seven companies are preparing to bid for a power transmission project in India’s Rajasthan state.

The companies are:

1. Adani Transmission

2. Sterlite Grid

3. Dilip Buildcon

4. Powergrid

5. Torrent Power

6. Techno Electric

7. Montecarlo.

The project will be located in Sangod municipality, the project comprises of a substation, transformer, and transmission line of 20km, estimated to cost INR 5bn (USD 68.5Mn) at the very least, according to the request for qualification (RFQ) document issued by state-owned transmission company Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Prasaran Nigam.

The project will be awarded through a tariff-based competitive bidding (TBCB) system and will be constructed in the build, own, operate and maintain model.


May 2021

INDIAN RENEWABLES FIRM AVAADA PLANS TO RAISE QUASI DEBT Indian renewables company Avaada Energy plans to raise quasi debt to fund its project pipeline in India, shelving an equity fundraise it launched in 2020. The proposed zero-coupon debt facility, with an option for bullet repayments as well as prepayment within five years, is likely to be worth more than USD 250Mn.

Before September 2020, Indian companies could only list their equity share capital on a foreign stock exchange through an American or Global Depository Receipt. The companies could, however, list their debt securities on international exchanges.

The company was in discussions with European and Asian investors including the Norwegian Investment Fund (Norfund) and Thailand's PTT Plc. Mumbai-based Avaada was set up by entrepreneur Vineet Mittal who also established Welspun Energy, an Indian renewable energy firm that sold its 1.1 GW renewable energy portfolio in 2017 to the Tata Group's power arm for USD 1.4Bn. Avaada owns a portfolio of over 4.2 GW of operating and pipeline power projects across India. It earned an income of INR 7Bn (USD 97Mn) and had gross earnings of INR 816Mn for the financial year through March 2020.


INDIA'S CONTINUUM RAISES USD 108M MEZZANINE FINANCING

India-focused renewables company Continuum Green Energy has raised INR 8bn (USD 108m) in mezzanine financing from a group of international investors. The investors include Singapore-headquartered private credit fund manager Orion Capital Asia, Canadian pension fund Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Singaporean private credit platform Pier front Capital. Orion Capital - which received an undisclosed equity investment from OMERS earlier in 2020 - led the financing, without disclosing each investor's share or the terms of the financing.

Continuum, which is majority-owned by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, will use the capital to refinance its existing debt and also fund its pipeline of wind and solar power projects in India. In February 2021, Continuum raised about USD 560m through a six-year US dollar bond issue. JP Morgan, Standard Chartered, HSBC and Emirates NBD were the joint bookrunners and lead managers for the transaction, while Deutsche Bank was the lead bank. The proceeds of the issuance were also to be used to refinance project debt for its wind and solar portfolio, with a combined capacity of 723 MW. The portfolio was located in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.


INDIA INVITES BIDS FOR POWER TRANSMISSION PROJECT

India's power ministry yesterday called for bids to set up a transmission system to evacuate 3 GW of renewable energy in the state of Gujarat.

Bidding will be carried out using a two-stage, tariff-based competitive bidding (TBCB) system, which the government introduced about a decade ago, according to a request for proposal document published by PFC Consulting, the bid co-coordinator.

In the first round, companies quote an amount that is the net present value - a measure of cashflows - over the concession period. The lowest proposal forms the basis for the second stage - a reverse auction - where developers quote the price at which they can supply power, with the contract being awarded to the lowest bidder.

The project will be set up in Khavda village in the build, own, operate and maintain (BOOM) model. The village in Gujarat's Kutch district is the site for a 30 GW renewable energy park for which the foundation stone was laid in December last year and is seen as an important contributor to India’s target of generating 450 GW of renewable power by 2030.


ADANI GREEN ACQUIRES SB ENERGY INDIA FOR USD 3.5BN

Adani Energy will acquire renewables platform SB Energy's Indian operations for an enterprise value of about USD 3.5bn. Adani has signed definitive agreements to buy an 80% stake from SoftBank and 20% from Indian conglomerate Bharti Enterprises. The transaction, which is India's biggest M&A renewables deal, will enable Adani Green to achieve a portfolio of 25 GW four years ahead of its target. The deal is set to be completed by August, Adani said in a separate stock exchange disclosure.

SB Energy India has a total renewable portfolio of 4.9 GW spread across four states in India. The portfolio consists of large-scale utility assets with 84% solar capacity (4.1 GW), 9% wind-solar hybrid capacity (450 MW) and 7% wind capacity (324 MW).

With the latest acquisition, Adani Green - which develops, builds, owns, operates and maintains utility-scale, grid-connected solar and wind farm projects - will have a total renewable capacity of 24.3 GW and an operating capacity of 4.9 GW.


Apr 2021

INDIA'S TORRENT POWER TO DEVELOP 300 MW SOLAR PROJECT

Electricity generation, transmission and distribution company Torrent Power will develop a 300 MW solar project in the Indian state of Gujarat. The project, estimated to cost INR 12bn (USD 160m), is set to be completed within the next 18 months.

The project will sell power to its power distribution unit at a tariff of INR 2.22 per kWh under a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA). The PPA arrangement for the project is part of a renewable purchase obligation (RPO) in India, which mandates all power distributors to produce or buy a percentage of electricity requirement from clean energy sources. Each state in the country sets its own RPO percentage, and Gujarat has set it at 17% for year 2020.

Torrent currently owns an operational capacity of close to 800 MW of renewable power plants including wind and solar. It is also developing over 500 MW of additional renewables projects including the Gujarat project. The company has an overall generation capacity of more than 3.2 GW, which includes coal- and dual fuel-based combined cycle power plants in India.


IFC PLANS TO FINANCE 300 MW INDIA SOLAR PROJECT

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is considering providing debt finance to French energy utility Enel Green Power's 300 MW solar project in India. The World Bank's private investment arm plans to lend USD 50m to the Thar Surya 1 solar power project in Rajasthan state.

The project, located in Rajasthan's Bikaner district, is estimated to cost USD 200m. The IFC will arrange another USD 100m through parallel lenders while Enel will provide the remainder.

Enel won the project in July 2020 in a 2 GW inter-state transmission system connected (ISTS) auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI). The developer quoted a fixed tariff of INR 2.37 (USD 0.03) per kWh and will sell power to SECI under a 25-year power purchase agreement.

Rome-headquartered Enel is one of the largest renewable energy developers in the world with 49 GW installed capacity across wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower assets. In India, the company owns and operates 172 MW of wind assets.

List of key transactions - Power & Renewable Energy - India

Source: Inframation, YOG INFRA analysis

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