Swiss firms’ Asia energy fund eyes 25-strong pipeline

Vehicle plans to deploy its first capital, using seed money to invest across Southeast Asia.

The Asia Energy Transition Fund, which was launched by Swiss firms SUSI Partners and The South Pole Group two weeks ago, is looking to make its first investments in the coming quarter, the fund’s managing director, Edgare Kerkwijk, told Infrastructure Investor

“The fund has been looking at a pipeline of 25 potential investment opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Southeast Asia,” Kerkwijk said. He explained the team – which includes roughly 40 people based in Southeast Asia working for South Pole Group – will use the sponsors’ existing funds to acquire seed assets. 

SUSI said the fund is likely to back between 10 and 15 renewable energy projects – generating between 150MW and 200MW – and a similar number of energy efficiency retrofittings. The manager is particularly interested in projects that are in late development and operating phases.

Kerkwijk sees Vietnam and the Philippines offering a more promising short-term investment environment, especially on the corporate side, but forecasts huge renewables potential for Indonesia – particularly in hydro.

The €250 million fund, with an IRR target of low double digits, is due to start fundraising in September, Kerkwijk said. He expects to see Asian LPs, particularly development banks and financial investors with appetite for Southeast Asian markets, contribute to the fund’s first close, which SUSI chief executive Tobias Reichmuth had previously pegged at between €80 million and €100 million.