Exclusive: Equis to double renewables portfolio

Asia’s largest independent infrastructure fund manager says the move will require investments of up to $12bn over the next two to three years.

Equis, the Singapore-based asset manager, aims to grow its Asian renewables portfolio from its current level of 3.1GW to 6GW over the next two to three years, according to the firm’s top executive. 

David Russell, Equis' chief executive, told Infrastructure Investor that the target will require investments totalling $10-12 billion, including both equity and debt. 

While Russell declined to further discuss fundraising activities, Infrastructure Investor understands that the firm has about $1 billion of undrawn equity available, having raised nearly $2.7 billion from institutional investors since its December 2011 inception.

Equis' previous fundraising, which saw it close its second Asia fund on $1 billion, was oversubscribed with 41 percent of the capital coming from new investors, according to sources.

In view of the momentum behind Thailand’s solar sector, the firm plans to increase its investments in the market to around $300-500 million over the next two to three years, Russell said. 

Thailand’s Energy Regulatory Commission last year launched a programme to grant 600MW of solar licences to the private sector. It is expected to attract more than $1 billion of investments in solar this year as it aims to increase capacity from 1.57GW in 2014 to 6GW by 2036. 

The tender's winners were supposed to be announced before last Christmas but the process has since suffered delays, with the government agency still in process of reviewing proposals. Russell expected it to make progress before June. 

Earlier this month, Equis commissioned the 132.5MW solar project in Cadiz City in the Philippines – the largest in Southeast Asia, at a cost of $215 million. This is the 24th renewable energy project commissioned by Equis in the last three years, with another 60 projects under development and construction. 

Equis’ operating renewable energy portfolio in the Philippines now amounts to 236.5MW. 

The Asian renewable energy generation market is forecast to grow faster than any other region globally, with 494GW in new capacity expected to be added between 2015 to 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.