Equis sells energy storage system to Kiwoom

The sale of the largest energy storage system in South Korea marks another divestment from Equis Asia Fund II.

Singapore-based fund manager Equis has divested 100 percent of an energy storage system in South Korea to Kiwoom Asset Management.

Owned by Equis Asia Fund II, the divestment of the 207.1MWh project, which Equis describes as the largest in South Korea, is part of the manager’s plan to cease its fundraising activities.

“We bought the asset in August 2019, and the divestment is the largest battery storage divestment in Asia in terms of both size and dollar value,” a spokesman for Equis told Infrastructure Investor, but declined to disclose financial details.

“Equis views battery storage as a key contributor to the transition in Australia, Japan and Korea from fossil fuel to renewable energy generation. The development of each Equis renewable energy generation asset will consider the incorporation of battery storage within its design.

“Equis is also developing standalone battery storage solutions to assist grid operators to reliably manage the supply profiles of renewable energy generation.”

As part of the acquisition from Equis, Kiwoom provided a new loan facility to refinance the existing lenders and become the sole financier to the project, Equis said.

The storage system has been in commercial operation since February 2019 and supplied 79,616MWh of electricity to Hyundai Steel as of September this year, Equis said.

In August, Equis sold two Japanese biomass power plants, with a combined capacity of 126.5MW, to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tokyo Gas. Both assets were owned by Equis Asia Fund II. At the time, it was unclear whether the vehicle was fully divested.

“Equis has completed the divestment of all assets in all its funds (including Japan Solar, which was the Partners Group joint venture vehicle) except for Equis Asia Fund I and II,” the spokesman said. The other vehicle to have been fully divested is the Equis Direct Investment Fund.

“Equis is targeting to exit the remaining assets of Equis Asia Fund I and II in the near future, after which the funds will be wound-up. We are in negotiations with a number of parties around the sale of remaining assets, the details of which are confidential,” the spokesman added.

After restructuring its asset and capital management model, Equis founded Equis Development in June 2019 through which all its future equity investments will be made.

In November, the developer secured $1.25 billion in equity from a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Equis’ management team. At the time, Equis managing director Lance Comes told Infrastructure Investor that “part of the $1.25 billion of equity will be invested in the [firm’s] two-year commitment plan”, which looks to invest $2 billion in renewables and waste infrastructure.