IFC, Norfund join $28m investment in Myanmar-based Yoma Micro Power

Yoma Strategic Holdings Chief Executive Melvyn Pun poses for a portrait after an interview in Singapore, on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2018. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

Yoma Micro Power Pte Ltd, a Myanmar-focused micro-power plant operator, has announced the close of a $28 million investment from the International Finance Corporation, Norfund and Yoma Strategic Holdings.

While Yoma Strategic Holdings will invest $8 million, IFC and Norfund will inject $7 million each in the form of equity and Government of Canada will extend a debt facility of $6 million. Post the investment, IFC and Norfund will hold 30 per cent stake each in the firm, while Yoma Strategic will own 35 per cent.

Yoma Micro Power CEO and founder Alakesh Chetia will hold the remaining 5 per cent stake in the firm. Chetia is the former president of SunEdison Social Innovations and managing director of rural electrification.

“Due to the rapid reduction in the cost of solar panels and batteries, solar-powered mini-grids have emerged as a viable alternative for rural electrification which can be deployed rapidly and financed with private capital,” said Chetia, in a statement.

Last year, Yoma Strategic Holdings announced a partnership with Norfund for the development of micro power plants and mini grids in the country. The latest investment includes $2 million the company committed since last year.

To date, the company saw a 10-site pilot scheme in Sagaing Region last year and is looking to scale up to over 2,000 micro power plants by 2022.

“Within this year, we expect to have at least a couple hundred (power plants),” said Chetia to DEALSTREETASIA.

The micro power plants were initially proposed to provide electricity to anchor tenants like telecom tower operators and the mini-grid provides electricity to the surrounding communities including households, schools, and other businesses.

Fay Chetnakarnkul, investment director, Head of Asia Region Financial institutions of Norfund said their interest is to “invest and promote opportunities that will create immediate and positive impact to the economic development of Myanmar.”

Also Read:

Yoma Strategic, Norfund to invest $2m in Myanmar rural power JV

IFC to extend $15m long-term financing to Thilawa River Port terminal project

 

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.