Abraaj, Aditya Birla Group to invest in solar power in India

The Abraaj Group and the Aditya Birla Group are partnering to build a gigawatt scale renewable energy platform focused on developing solar power plants in India. Abraaj and Aditya are both investing in the platform. Financial terms weren’t announced.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 07 2015: The Abraaj Group (‘Abraaj’ or the ‘Group’), a leading investor operating in global growth markets, and the Aditya Birla Group, a US$ 41 billion multinational conglomerate, today announced a partnership to build a gigawatt scale renewable energy platform focused on developing solar power plants in India. Abraaj will invest in the platform through one of its Funds and the Aditya Birla Group will invest through Aditya Birla Nuvo Limited (BSE: 500303).

The partnership comes at an opportune time in the growth of the Indian renewable energy sector. The demand for power in India is growing as a result of the country’s expanding population, increasing urbanization and related economic activities. At the same time, the Indian government has created favorable regulatory policies to increase the use of renewable energy, including setting an explicit target to achieve 100 GW of solar power capacity by 2022, compared to the current installed capacity of 4GW. Together, these factors create a compelling investment opportunity for the private sector, which can help meet this significant demand for renewable energy.

The new solar power platform will bid for projects tendered at national and state auctions, with the intent to develop and operate utility-scale solar power plants that can provide clean and cost-effective electricity to the national grid across several key states.

Commenting on the partnership, Sev Vettivetpillai, Partner and Global Head of Abraaj’s Thematic Funds Business, said, “The gap in energy infrastructure in growth markets translates into a long-term and sustainable investment opportunity. Renewable energy is set for explosive growth thanks to technological advances, favorable policies and pricing structures that make it a competitive alternative to conventional power generation. At Abraaj, we see significant opportunity in India, one of the world’s biggest energy consumption markets. We look forward to working closely with the Aditya Birla Group to provide clean energy to Indian businesses, communities and consumers.”

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, Partner and Global Head of Abraaj’s Regional Funds Business, added, “The renewable energy sector in India offers vast potential for growth and can play a transformative role in reducing dependency on fossil fuels and enhancing India’s long-term energy security. We are delighted to partner in this rapidly growing sector with one of India’s leading entrepreneurial groups and, together, bring our capital and expertise to bear in creating a landmark investment that can address the demands for clean energy infrastructure in the country.”

Dev Bhattacharya, Business Head, Group Corporate Strategy, Solar Power & E-Commerce, Aditya Birla Group, added, “Aditya Birla Group supports the Government of India’s initiative for a greater share of renewables in the energy mix, essential for sustained economic and industrial growth. This cooperation will give a fillip to Aditya Birla Group’s renewable energy initiatives and contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of India as a whole.”

The Abraaj Group has comprehensive investment experience across the energy value chain and has invested c. US$ 1 billion in 10 investments in global growth markets.

Aditya Birla Group was advised in the transaction by Greenstone Energy Advisors. The transaction will close once customary closing conditions and requisite approvals are obtained.