Petronas Expands India Bet With 100 MW ACME Buy Through Amplus

Amplus Energy Solutions, the Malaysian national oil firm, Petronas’s subsidiary in India since its own acquisition by Petronas last year, has moved to acquire 100MW of solar assets owned by ACME Solar. The reported price for the deal is $110 million., or almost Rs 800 crores.

For the Manoj Upadhyay led ACME Solar, the deal follows its successful closure of a deal to sell 400MW of operating solar assets to Actis Capital. As a homegrown player, the firm was reported to be feeling the pressure of the slowdown more than most, due to its aggressive bids through 2017 and 2018, when it won multiple projects with record low prices between Rs 2.44 to Rs 2.56 per unit. The firm is reported to have a project portfolio of close to 5GW, including projects under development.

For Amplus Energy, which, after starting out with a focus on the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) segment, has now expanded with offerings in residential rooftop (HomeScape) also, the ACME buy might just be the start of an exposure build up in the utility scale segment too. Led by Sanjeev Aggarwal, Amplus moved quickly from a startup in 2010, to being acquired by I squared capital in 2015, to its acquisition by Petronas in 2019. That’s the kind of growth and transition very few developers have managed, beyond say, Renew Power and the Adani pack. The firm currently manages 650 MW of solar projects, according to their last communication. The 175 MW Gadag, Karnataka, plant remains their single largest open access plant.

Their C&I focus has meant a stronger than usual marketing focus for the firm, with a roster of corporate clients that is both envied and valued today. But fluctuating policy changes has possibly forced the firm to explore other opportunities, including residential solar, to keep the growth momentum going.

The current acquisition fits in well into that pattern, with PPA rates reported to be well above Rs 4.50 for the projects in the deal.

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