CDC mulls South Asian renewables vehicle

The new entity will be headed by Shivanand Nimbargi and PJ Nayak to develop wind and solar projects across the region.

UK development finance institution CDC Group has established a renewable energy company to focus on developing projects in India and neighbouring South Asian countries.

Ayana Renewable Power, which is fully funded by CDC, will develop “hundreds of megawatts of generational capacity targeting underserved Indian states and neighouring countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka,” said the UK financier, adding that the company will focus on wind and solar power generation.

CDC has appointed Shivanand Nimbargi as managing director and chief executive, as well as PJ Nayak as chairman of the new entity.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the power sector, Nimbargi was the managing director and chief executive of Green Infra, an Indian renewables developer, from 2011 to 2016, overseeing the growth of Green Infra’s operational capacity from 150MW to around 700MW with establishment of a new management team. Prior to joining Ayana, he was the managing director of L&T Metro Rail in Hyderabad, one of the largest PPP projects in the country, the first phase of which was commissioned in November 2017.

Nayak, for his part, has more than 25 years of experience in the banking and financial services sector. He was the former chairman and chief executive of Axis Bank, and has served as the chairman of Union Bank of Colombo, country head at Morgan Stanley India and a senior advisor at TPG Capital. He was a senior official in the Indian Administrative Services, and served as joint secretary for the Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance.

He will lead a board of non-executive directors including Jayesh Desai, previously head of investments at Piramal Enterprises, and Rahul Sankhe, former managing director of SunEdison in India.

“Ayana’s strategic vision is to create significant renewable power generating capacity across South Asia, complementing it with a development agenda which reaches out to communities near locations where such capacity has been created,” said Nayak.

CDC has experience investing in India’s infrastructure sector, having committed as much as $25 million in Green Infra in 2013, alongside the private equity arm of Indian alternative investment manager IDFC Alternatives. It also invests in India across financial services, agribusiness, manufacturing, trade and healthcare.