IFC to boost funding for off-grid solar power in Myanmar

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is considering investing a further US$87 million in Yoma Micro Power to help Myanmar supply electricity to remote off-grid communities and reduce its carbon emissions.

Part of the World Bank Group, the IFC said it had proposed arranging a loan package of $80 million to the energy firm, which builds micro power plants and mini-grids in Myanmar.

The IFC has already invested in equity in the joint venture and will acquire a further $7.4 million in equity. With initial capital of $28 million in 2018, the firm secured an additional $40 million this year from shareholders that now include Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation via its AC Energy subsidiary.

The proposed financing will “contribute to reducing the greenhouse gas footprint of the electricity sector in Myanmar and will supply needed energy to remote off grid locations,” the IFC says on its website.

Only around 40 percent of Myanmar’s population has access to the national grid and the country’s power generation capacity lags behind supply, with crippling power cuts disrupting the economy every dry season.

Micro Power is among those actively building solar mini-grids across the country in an attempt to provide electricity to rural communities. In March, it launched a US$100,000 solar mini-grid in Sagaing that now produces 31.2 kilowatts (KW) of power during peak hours for around 1000 villagers and a telecom tower.

When approved, this would be the seventh investment the IFC has made in businesses related to the Yoma Group, including Metro Myanmar, Yoma Bank, Landmark and Yoma Fleet. The IFC board is expected to make a decision on the Yoma Micro Power investment in late June.

Editor’s note: The proposed investment amount from the IFC in Yoma Micro Power has been updated.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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