A New Zealand investment firm is funding the launch of a renewables company in Singapore with the aim of riding the wave of climate action in a region under growing pressure to transition to clean energy.
Called Gurīn Energy, the firm is backed by US$233m in funding from Infratil, a Wellington-based infrastructure investment firm that has financed renewables firms in Australia, the United States and Europe. Gurīn, which means green in Japanese, is Infratil’s first investment in Asia, and comes five months after it sold Australian business Tilt Renewables for more than $2 billion.
The new venture will invest in wind, solar and storage projects in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, Southeast Asia, with an initial focus on the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, and India, and aims to capitalise on the push for clean energy in a region increasingly looking to reduce its dependence on coal and imported natural gas.
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Infratil chief executive Jason Boyes said that national commitments to decarbonise and a desire to reduce dependency on imported fuels were key trends that pointed to healthy growth prospects for renewables in Asia.
Japan, Korea, and China have announced net-zero emissions targets, while most Southeast Asian countries are ramping up efforts to decarbonise their economies in the run-up to the COP26 climate talks in November. Boyes noted that renewables is “one of the single largest investment opportunities in history” with more than US$4 trillion of investment in wind and solar assets forecast over the next decade.
Gurīn Energy will be run by Assaad Razzouk, the former chief executive of Singapore-based renewables firm Sindicatum Renewable Energy. Razzouk’s team working for Sindicatum Renewable Energy, one of two businesses under the Sindicatum group umbrella, has migrated to Gurīn Energy. Sindicatum Sustainable Resources, the other part of Sindicatum, is unaffected by the deal.
Infratil plans to spend US$70 million through Gurīn Energy in its first year, and projects to install 300 megawatts of clean energy projects per year. Gurīn Energy has a pipeline of more than 2 gigawatts in solar and wind projects in Southeast Asia and Japan, of which 450MW are immediately investable as seed assets.