LEAP fund eyes $500m project pipeline

The ADB and JICA-backed vehicle is looking at a pipeline of projects across south and Southeast Asia, after $210m of debut investments.

The Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund, a $1.5 billion vehicle managed by the Asian Development Bank, is working on over $500 million of debt and equity transactions, after making two deals in its first year of operation.

The bank said the potential projects are in India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines and Thailand. The fund, with a five-year investment period, is mandated to invest in non-sovereign projects at various stages of development in energy, water and waste management, transport, telecommunications and healthcare.

Over the last 12 months, the ADB approved two, $210 million debt financings from the fund to support development of a geothermal plant in Indonesia and projects developed by ADIA-backed Indian solar firm ReNew Power.

The two seed projects – which garnered $1.4 billion in financing and are now under construction – are being funded with $264.5 million from the ADB’s own capital and $890 million from co-financing partners. Although the ADB did not identify its co-financing partners, the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund is understood to be backing the Indonesian geothermal project.

LEAP is a vehicle dedicated to Asian private infrastructure. Launched in March 2016, the fund was capitalised with a $1.5 billion equity commitment from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and seeks to mobilise at least $6 billion of financing, combined with capital from the ADB’s balance sheet and other commercial partners.