PETRONAS talks enter into Indian Solar energy Firm

Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PETRONAS) is seeking to buy one of India’s largest rooftop solar power producers, as stated by Mint Indian business newspaper.

As per the reports PETRONAS is presently in talks with private equity firm named I Squared Capital to buy into Amplus Energy solution Pvt Ltd  in a deal that is worth 2,700 crore rupees [RM 1.56 billion].

Amplus which was founded in 2010 has already setup solar power generation capacity of 350 MW across India. In 2015, I Squared Capital invested 150 million USD in the solar energy firm.

“The talks are on for PETRONAS to acquire a major stake in Amplus,” quoted Mint. There was no response from PETRONAS on this matter.

Mint said “Queries mailed to Gautam Bhandari, founder of I Squared Capital, Managing Director Andreas Moon and India Head Harsh Agarwal on Jan 11, were unanswered.

Apart from PETRONAS, Amplus has also garnered the attention of other oil majors, including Norway’s Statoil ASA, France’s Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, according to the report.

Globally, oil majors have begun venturing into renewable energy amid the volatile oil market, as well as increasing demand towards cleaner energy sources.

Back home, PETRONAS already has small solar power assets such as its plant in Gebeng, Pahang and has conducted research on solar panels on the rooftop of the Suria KLCC Mall.

Last November, Reuters reported PETRONAS has set up a new business within the group, especially to look into the renewable energy sector.

The renewable energy push is one of PETRONAS three-pronged growth strategy, aside from extension of value chain and maximizing cash generation, president and group chief executive officer Tan Sri Wan Zulikiflee Wan Ariffin said in an interview in December.

Malaysia, where PETRONAS is based, is undertaking a third round of large scale solar (LSS) project tender worth an estimated RM2 Billion, with 500MW generation capacity.

Under the LSS program, the government has targeted to add 2.2 GW of solar generation capacity between 2017 and 2020. This pales in comparison with India’s 2022 target of 40 GW from rooftop solar projects alone.