IFC will be joining Norfund and Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. as investment partner in Yoma Micro Power. The aim is to to electrify hundreds of telecommunications towers and rural communities across Myanmar.
Electricity infrastructure development is a priority for Myanmar to drive economic growth. Currently, as much as 70% of Myanmar’s population is not connected to the electricity grid. Yoma Micro Power aims to electrify telecommunication towers and rural communities across Myanmar using solar-based micro power plants and mini-grids. Today, 3rd of April 2018, Yoma Micro Power announced that International Finance Corporation (IFC) will be joining Norfund and Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd. as its investment partner. Together, the partners are expecting to raise up to US$28 million by way of equity and debt financing.
Due to the rapid reduction in the cost of solar panels and batteries, solar-powered mini-grids have emerged as a viable alternative for rural electrification which can be deployed rapidly and financed with private capital.
Our mini-grids provide an on-grid experience to rural villages that may otherwise have to wait ten or more years to obtain grid electricity.
Mr. Alakesh Chetia, CEO, Yoma Micro Power
In 2017, Yoma Micro Power successfully completed a 10-plant pilot scheme in Sagaing Region whereby 10 telecommunications towers, four villages and up to 700 people in off-grid areas were given access to electricity. This year, Yoma Micro Power aims to electrify hundreds of telecommunications towers and rural communities across Myanmar, with the potential to scale up to more than two thousand micro power plants by 2022. The aim thereafter is to expand coverage to meaningfully service the millions of unelectrified people in the country.
Post the investment, Yoma Strategic will hold 35%, while Norfund and IFC will hold 30% each in Yoma Micro Power. The remaining 5% will be held by Alakesh Chetia, an experienced professional in the power infrastructure sector who is leading the initiative.