Petronas jumps into PV market with Amplus acquisition

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The acquisition of Singapore-based solar developer Amplus Energy Solutions – which owns a 500 MW portfolio of PV projects – marks a first foray by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) into renewables. The Kuala Lumpur-based group expects to finalize the deal this month, it said in an online statement.

“This acquisition reflects Petronas’ strategic intent to grow in the renewable energy space as part of our strategy to step out beyond oil and gas,” said Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, president and CEO of Petronas. “This also represents our first international solar venture.”

Amplus Energy, also known as M+, did not indicate how much of its solar portfolio is operational. The company primarily develops PV installations for commercial and industrial clients in Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East. In August it finished a 3.44 MWp rooftop array at the India Expo Mart conference center in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Petronas recently revealed plans to develop large-scale and rooftop PV projects with UiTM Holdings, the investment unit of Universiti Teknologi Mara. In January, it was revealed the group was competing against Abu Dhabi-based Masdar and Singapore’s Sembcorp to acquire a minority stake in Indian developer Hero Future Energies.

I Squared Capital invested $150 million into Amplus Energy in 2015. Earlier this year, the private equity group was identified as one of 15 large investment funds – including Macquarie, Brookfield and KKR – competing to buy more than 1 GW of renewables from Mumbai-based Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services.

Malaysia’s cumulative PV installations reached approximately 438 MW at the end of 2018, from around 317 MW a year earlier, according to estimates made by the International Renewable Energy Agency.