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.”