Singapore’s Sembcorp sets eyes on India, China for renewables1 min read . Updated: 22 Oct 2015, 12:40 PM IST
Sembcorp expects India to be its fastetst growing market if the country's economy grows 7-8% in the next decade
Singapore: Sembcorp Industries, one of Southeast Asia’s biggest utilities companies, plans to roughly triple its renewable energy portfolio over the next five years, targetting India and China for growth, a senior company official said.
Industrial conglomerate Sembcorp, whose utilities arm forms one of its three main divisions, expects renewable energy to account for 20% of its total power capacity in five years, up from 13% at present, executive vice president Tan Cheng Guan told the Reuters Summit.
“Over the last three years, we have grown renewables quite significantly," Tan said. “We have been able to accelerate because the cost of renewables has been coming down quite quickly because of technology and scale."
Sembcorp, which plans to focus on wind and solar energy, where costs are expected to drop further by 2020, has total power capacity of about 8,800 megawatts (MW).
India and China make up the bulk of its renewables capacity, with wind power assets in China of about 450 MW.
In India, it jointly owns and operates wind and solar power assets with a total power capacity of 750 MW after buying a majority stake in Indian renewable energy firm Green Infra in February, this year.
“India is under served at the moment and their (power) capacity is maybe one quarter of China’s, even with about the same population," Tan said. “So, if India’s economy grows by 7-8% in the next decade, we see that India will grow the fastest."
A boom in clean energy projects is expected in India after it hiked its solar energy target to 100 gigawatts by 2022, a 33-fold rise from current levels.
In China, Sembcorp is also jointly building a coal-fired power plant near coal mines in Chongqing.
Tan said the plant’s newer and more efficient technology would help in China’s push to reduce its carbon footprint.
Sembcorp is also looking towards Bangladesh and Myanmar where it is developing gas-fired power plants.
He declined to comment on Sembcorp’s credit exposure to Jurong Aromatics Corp (JAC), which went into receivership last month due to debt problems.
Sembcorp has a 20-year agreement with JAC for the supply of steam and other water and wastewater treatment services.