Acme aims to raise $300 million equity in push for green hydrogen

Mumbai/New Delhi: Gurugram-based renewable energy firm Acme Group is looking to raise $300 million in fresh equity, as it aims to secure funds to bid for new power projects, three people with knowledge of the development said.

The company that recently sold 450-550 MW of power assets for $180–200 million to BluPine, an Actis PE-backed renewable energy platform, is in the process of appointing investment bankers for its equity funding, said one of the persons cited above on the condition of anonymity, as the discussions are private.

“It is fairly early stage, and the company is looking at a PE (private equity) fund-raise opportunistically. They are likely to reach out to global PE funds, sovereign wealth funds and infrastructure funds,” the second person cited above said. According to him, the company is looking at long-term partners.

“This capital will be raised at the holding company level,” the person added. “It will help the firm bid for incremental projects under the green hydrogen push.”

A company spokesperson did not respond to emailed queries.

In November, Mint reported the group’s plans to sell up to 51% in its proposed infrastructure investment trust (InvIT) for around $1.3 billion (around 10,800 crore). The firm, which is betting big on green hydrogen, has appointed global consulting firm EY to look for buyers.

There is a huge interest in green hydrogen in the country, with 5.8 million tonnes (mt) of green ammonia capacity coming up. Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyzer that may be powered by electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. As part of its green hydrogen playbook, India wants to encourage green hydrogen exports to Japan, South Korea and Europe, and has allowed concessional green electricity, an inter-state transmission charges waiver, land in renewable energy parks and mega manufacturing zones for promoting green hydrogen and green ammonia, Mint reported.

Investments into companies focusing on the green hydrogen space are likely to gain momentum, with the government setting a target of 5mt of annual green hydrogen production by 2030 with a focus on exports under the National Green Hydrogen Mission.

The Acme Group has also been selected for setting up green hydrogen plant under the incentive scheme “Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition” (SIGHT)—with an allocated capacity of 90,000 tonne per annum. The company would get an incentive of 30 per kg on average, for three years.

Founded in 2003 by Manoj Kumar Upadhyay, Acme Group aims to become a leading green energy provider in the world by 2030, and produce 10 mtpa of green ammonia and hydrogen. The company started working with various governments, partners and stakeholders to develop projects in various geographies such as Oman, India, Egypt, Australia, and Chile, its website shows. The group has lined up ambitious plans for India and has inked an agreement with the Karnataka government to invest 52,000 crore to set up a green hydrogen and green ammonia project. The firm is also setting up a large green hydrogen and green ammonia project at a special economic zone at Duqm in Oman, which will require an investment of about $6 billion. Acme Solar has formed a 50:50 joint venture with Norwegian energy firm Equinor-backed Scatec ASA to design, develop, build and operate the facility. The plant will supply emission-free fuel to Europe and Asia.

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Published: 16 Jan 2024, 11:17 PM IST

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