Prudential's Asia arm debuts in India with 96MW wind deal

The investment will help a Morgan Stanley-controlled wind developer build the second phase of a 150MW project in southern India.

Eastspring Investments, Prudential’s $146 billion Asian investment management arm, has agreed to invest an undisclosed sum in an Indian wind energy developer backed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure. 

The deal marks Eastspring's debut infrastructure investment in India as well as its first in the country’s renewables sector. A spokesperson for the firm added that it is also exploring other renewables and infrastructure opportunities in India and across Asia. 

The capital invested by Eastspring will fund Watsun Infrabuild Private, a wholly owned subsidiary of renewables platform Continuum Wind Energy, to build the second phase of a 150MW wind power project in Tamil Nadu, India. The company has achieved financial close for the first phase of 54MW and is in advanced discussions with prospective lenders for financing the second phase of 96MW. 

The wind scheme, which is part of the high-capacity Green Corridor transmission system for renewable energy, is expected to supply electricity, inter alia, to industrial and commercial units under the group captive scheme. 

Eastspring will acquire new equity issued by the Indian developer. Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners is set to remain the controlling shareholder of the platform, in which it invested $210 million through its $4 billion Global Infrastructure Investment Fund in 2012. 

Continuum has a current portfolio of about 1.8GW, 387.5MW out of which are operational and 150MW in construction, it said on its website.   

“We have been impressed by the quality of assets being built by Continuum and their management team,” said Tony Adams, chief investment officer of infrastructure at Eastspring. “Wind farms like this are particularly attractive to long-term investors, such as Eastspring, and we look forward to working closely with the Contiuum team to further develop the business elsewhere.” 

“With Eastspring as a long-term partner, Continuum is well-positioned to capture the growth in India’s wind energy market,” said Raja Parthasarathy, managing director at Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, adding that Continuum is their largest investment in emerging markets infrastructure.