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

Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings announced today that it has teamed up with the Norwegian Investment Fund (Norfund), a state-owned investment fund, for a $2 million initial investment in micropower plants and mini grids in Myanmar.

The power generation project aims to provide electricity to rural communities with no access to the national power grid and telecommunications towers to be operational in off-grid areas.

Yoma Strategic and Norfund have entered into a joint venture, Yoma Micro Power (S) Pte Ltd, with each holding a 47.5 per cent stake. The rest 5 per cent is held by Alakesh Chetia, former managing director of rural electrification at global renewable energy development firm SunEdison Inc, who will lead the initiative.

A pilot program will start in Sagaing Region, in which Yoma Strategic will contribute $1 million out of the total initial investment committed.

“We hope a successful trial will support our unique proposition to provide reliable and clean energy, in commercially attractive terms to our customers and ourselves, that can be scaled to a large part of the country,” said Melvyn Pun, chief executive officer of Yoma Strategic.

The project will use insights and inputs from Yoma Strategic Holdings’ experience in the telecom tower business and Norfund’s know-how in clean energy.

Myanmar plans to address the electricity shortage issue with its National Electrification Plan developed together with the World Bank and the UN. The plan aims to extend electricity access to 50 per cent of the population by 2020 and 100 per cent by 2030. Only 16 per cent of rural households in Myanmar are connected to the power grid, according to the World Bank.

Norfund had earlier made a 25 per cent equity investment in Myanmar Finance International Ltd, a joint venture of AIM-listed Myanmar Investments International limited.

Also Read:

Norfund picks 25% stake in AIM-listed Myanmar Investments’ microfinance JV

Norfund-backed Myanmar Finance gets $1m Maybank loan to expand MFI biz

Myanmar: Yoma’s $718m realty project takes off; Yangon low-cost housing scheme

 

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Singapore Reporter/s

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).

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

  • 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.