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Armstrong Asset commits $30m to clean energy

Aug 16. 2013
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By The Nation

Armstrong Asset Management is committing up to US$30 million (Bt934 million) from its South-East Asia Clean Energy Fund to finance solar photovoltaic (PV) and biogas power projects, developed by Annex Power in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Andrew Affleck, managing partner of Armstrong Asset Management, said the opportunity to work with Annex was attractive because of the firm’s track record and its commitment to the development of projects of the type and scale suitable for the fund. He also said it was clear that the Annex team offered "internationally proven engineering and construction capability, which has been field-tested with matched components and robust, reliable operations".

After its success in Thailand’s solar market, Annex plans to strengthen its position with several large-scale engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects. Annex has completed the engineering and construction of 58 megawatts of solar PV projects in Thailand and has secured contracts to construct a further 30MW.

Daniel Gaefke, managing director of Annex Power, said its partnership with the Armstrong Fund was an important step.

"The Armstrong Fund’s investment objectives align with our own and its experience in the renewables sector and in Southeast Asia creates many synergies we plan to build on," Gaefke said.

The partnership with Armstrong will enable Annex to grow its development and asset management operations on the base of its core EPC and consulting businesses in Thailand and the expanding project opportunities in Indonesia and the Philippines.

In April, Armstrong announced its first investment from the Clean Energy Fund – a strategic cooperation with energy developer Symbior Solar Siam, a solar-focused subsidiary of business incubator Symbior Energy – to develop and operate a portfolio of solar-power-generation projects in central and northeastern Thailand. The portfolio of six small-scale solar power plants will deliver a combined capacity of 30MW to the Thai national grid.

Thailand’s renewable-energy market is the most established in Southeast Asia, with a target of 25 per cent of total energy to come from renewable sources by 2021. The Thai solar sector is growing steadily, with recent approvals confirming an increase of the solar-power target to 3,000MW and the presence of many world-class equipment suppliers and service providers.

Affleck confirmed that Armstrong was on track to achieve a final closing of $150 million for the fund by next month, after an initial close in April 2012.

Investors include private corporations, European development finance institutions, as well as the International Finance Corporation, the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank.

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