UK-based private equity firm Actis has set up a new platform to invest in gas-fired power projects in Southeast Asia and closed its maiden deal by acquiring a 49 percent shareholding in a 220 megawatts-power unit in Bangladesh owned by India’s Shapoorji Pallonji group.
Actis’ new platform, called Bridgin Power, will pursue gas-fired power projects with focus on equitable energy transition in Southeast Asia. Bridgin Power taps into a total commitment of $400 million in equity from Actis Energy 5 Fund. It aims to build a portfolio of 1.2 gigawatts (GWs) across the region by 2028.
Bridgin Power’s first acquisition is a stake in a combined cycle gas turbine power plant in the Bhola region of Bangladesh, which was put up on the block around two years ago by the Shapoorji Pallonji group. The companies did not disclose the financial consideration for the deal.
“We believe natural gas is an essential fuel for the medium term offering flexible low emission power as the region gradually transitions to more green energy sources. Bridgin Power’s investment in Bhola power project in Bangladesh is a step in that direction. Investing from our $6bn Actis Energy 5 Fund, in partnership with Bridgin’s management team, we aim to deliver up to 1.2GW of power capacity by 2028,” said Sanjiv Aggarwal, Partner, energy infrastructure at Actis.
The Bhola power plant has a 22-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Bangladesh Power Development Board and was commissioned in Jun 2021. The project was financed initially by Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and IDCOL Bangladesh. They have now been replaced by a consortium comprising Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), ING, DBS, Bank of China, Mizuho and Societe Generale.
Dennis Foo, Group Chief Executive Officer, Bridgin Power, said, “We’re delighted to have closed our first investment in a country which has strong need for gas power to meet its growing power demands and which provides a stable PPA framework for investors. The acquisition of Bhola asset sets us on our path to create an energy platform of scale, using natural gas as a bridge to a sustainable and low carbon future.”
Prior to this transaction, in 2019, Shapoorji Pallonji Infrastructure Capital had sold its 194 MW solar power portfolio to the renewable energy platform of Actis- Sprng Energy. Subsequently in April this year, Shell Overseas Investment B.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell plc, signed an agreement with Actis to acquire 100% of Solenergi Power Private Limited for $1.55 billion and with it, the Sprng Energy group of companies.
Bridgin Power will be led by a management team based in Singapore. Its target geographies include– Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.