Fieldfisher, led by corporate partner Christine Phillips, has advised Proparco, the French Development Agency, on its further equity investment in Azure Power, one of India’s solar energy specialists. Proparco made an equity investment of €7m to enable Azure Power to reach critical mass and win new competitive bids which could potentially quadruple its production capacity.
India is the world’s fourth largest energy consumer and must meet increasing needs related to its population dynamics and economic development. Demand is expected to double by 2035, whereas the country already has a power deficit which affects its public finances, its competitiveness and its population. It must also reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and its carbon footprint, which is one of the highest in the world. India’s power sector alone causes 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, which is the world’s 3rd largest emitter after China and the USA. According to the Central Electricity Authority, 55% of India’s power generation is based on highly-polluting coal combustion. With energy demand increasing, the energy efficiency of industrial facilities and the increased use of renewable energies are becoming a major challenge for the country. To boost cleaner energy production, Proparco has supported the growth of Azure Power, one of India’s solar energy specialists.
Christine Phillips has previously advised Proparco in relation to its €12m investment in Gulbarga Power Private Ltd, the Indian subsidiary of VICAT Group and a private electricity supplier. The investment was made to finance the construction of a power unit to recover hot gases from the Vicat Sagar Cement Plant with the remaining electricity needs being provided by a thermal power plant owned by Gulbarga Power in order to reduce coal consumption and CO² emissions from the site’s electricity generation by over 20%.
Christine Phillips has also previously advised Proparco on its US$12.5m equity investment in Strides Arcolab Limited, a large Indian group based in Bangalore with global operations in the domain of pharmaceutical formulations. Strides Arcolab is listed on the Delhi and Bombay stock exchanges. Proparco’s equity investment enabled Strides Arcolab to establish production units in Cameroon and Sudan and extend its plant in Nigeria, enabling the group to extend supply capabilities in the region and strengthen footprints in the 25 African markets that it currently operates in. The World Health Organisation estimates that today, roughly 50% of Africa’s population does not have regular access to essential drugs. Africa today accounts for less than 2% of the global pharmaceutical market.
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