Singapore-based firm aims to power clean energy projects in South-east Asia

A new Singapore-based firm has set out to build and run clean energy projects across the region.

CleanGrid Partners was unveiled yesterday as a collaboration by Singapore's WEnergy Global, consultancy ICMG Partners and energy firm Greenway Grid Global, which is backed by Japanese electricity giant Tokyo Electric Power Company's Tepco PowerGrid.

The investment entity has US$60 million (S$82 million) in the kitty, with each partner putting up an equal share and US$20 million earmarked for short-term deployment.

It aims to build up a portfolio of electrification projects worth US$100 million in South-east Asia within four years.

WEnergy Global's flagship micro-grid project on the Philippine island of Palawan, which electrifies households and commercial players through hybrid power sources such as solar and diesel, is now part of the joint-venture plan, according to a statement.

CleanGrid Partners plans to replicate its Palawan project in other parts of South-east Asia to meet demand for off-grid power. Other schemes are already planned for Indonesia and Myanmar, as well as the Philippines.

The firm will also target industrial estates in Singapore.

WEnergy Global chief executive Atem Ramsundersingh said in a statement that the latest move is a response to the chronic lack of access to electricity in parts of the region.

"The near-term solution that delivers on immediate, on-the-ground benefits is to build, own and operate smart microgrids for off-grid electrification, which most multilateral agencies, investment companies and mega power companies are reluctant to embark on," he said.

"Our new partnership will combine WEnergy Global's on-the-ground knowledge and pioneer experience in Asean with the best smart technologies that the likes of Tepco PowerGrid already own."

Mr Gen Funahashi, director of ICMG Partners, said that "investors, development and commercial banks and technology manufacturers worldwide must address the challenge to electrify the one billion people on our planet, including 100 million people in South-east Asia, who have little or no access to electricity".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore-based firm aims to power clean energy projects in S-E Asia'. Print Edition | Subscribe