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BII enters PH, commits $15M to SUSI Asia Energy Transition Fund

  • This is BII’s first investment in Southeast Asia under the current 2022-2026 investment strategy.
  • BII expects to provide up to £500 million of climate finance in the region over the coming years.
  • This fund commitment contributes to BII’s target of 30 per cent of total new commitments in climate finance.

Manila – 22 May 2023: British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, announced a $15 million commitment to the SUSI Asia Energy Transition Fund (SAETF), a Southeast Asia-focused energy transition infrastructure fund managed by Swiss-based firm SUSI Partners. This is BII’s first commitment in Southeast Asia following its plan to re-enter the region and provide the investment capital needed to boost clean and sustainable economic growth and support the region’s green energy transition.

With this commitment, BII joins other development finance institutions, including AIIB, FMO, Swedfund, Norfund, and OeEB, as well as private investors in backing SAETF. The investment marks the start of realising BII’s ambitions to invest up to £500 million of climate finance in the Indo-Pacific region and forms part of its overall goal to target 30 per cent of total new commitments to climate finance.

SAETF targets infrastructure investments across the energy transition spectrum, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage projects, and focuses on emerging economies in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines. The Fund will contribute to global climate mitigation goals and the Paris Agreement by financing clean energy solutions, increasing the supply of reliable and affordable electricity for businesses and consumers, and enabling access to clean energy solutions in underserved areas.

Southeast Asia has been one of the fastest growing regions in the world. While the countries are in various stages of development, almost all their economies have more than doubled in size since 2000. This means that energy demand in the region has increased on average by around three per cent a year over the past two decades.

The Philippines recorded its strongest economic growth in more than 40 years, with its full-year gross GDP for 2022 increased by 7.6 per cent, according to the Philippine Statistics Agency. The government expects the economy to grow by 6 to 7 per cent in 2023.

To address this growing energy demand and reduce dependence on fossil fuel generation, the Philippines has committed to reaching a 75 per cent reduction in CO2 emission by 2030. The region’s overall sustainability ambitions require at least $200 billion of energy sector investment by 2030, of which over three-quarters needs to be channeled into clean energy.

Consequently, BII’s investment is also aimed at attracting further commercial investors to unleash climate finance opportunities and support green, resilient economic growth in the region. This forms part of the UK government’s British Investment Partnerships (BIP) which was launched in the Philippines earlier this year with an aim to mobilise capital and technical expertise to support sustainable infrastructure development and the transition to clean energy in the Philippines.

With SUSI Partners, SAETF enlists the expertise of a specialised investment manager with a proven track record of investing globally across the energy transition infrastructure spectrum. In the Philippines, the firm has invested in the development of a ground-mounted solar PV plant via a joint venture between SAETF and regional developer Pacific Impact, while also having committed to a pipeline of rooftop solar PV projects via the joint venture with Entoria Energy. The investments reiterate the renewed approach to investing in climate finance in the Philippines as one of BII’s priority markets in Southeast Asia.

Wymen Chan, Head of Asia at SUSI Partners, said:

Energy demand in Southeast Asia is growing fast in line with the region’s economic development. Our goal is to direct capital towards the buildout of infrastructure that allows this growth to occur in a sustainable manner while proving that Southeast Asia is not just an impactful but a highly attractive market for public and private investors alike.

British Ambassador to the Philippines, Laure Beaufils said:

I’m delighted that BII will be investing in the Philippines for the first time through SAETF.  This demonstrates the UK’s strong commitment to supporting the Philippines in delivering a climate resilient energy transition, and enabling inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Srini Nagarajan, Managing Director and Head of Asia at BII added:

We have been investing across Asia for over 30 years. SAETF is an excellent re-entry point for BII into Southeast Asia and a clear statement of our ambition to provide climate finance and support innovation to meet the challenges from the climate crisis. We laud the region’s climate ambitions and look forward to collaborating with SUSI’s local teams to further develop scalable and bankable sustainable projects.

The commitment from BII will contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8) and Climate Action (SDG 13).

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