Diwakar Gupta is ADB's vice-president for private sector operations and public-private partnerships. Under ADB's long-term Strategy 2030 framework, ADB is significantly scaling up its support in these areas of activities. In his prior commission, Mr. Gupta was managing director and chief financial officer of the State Bank of India, setting strategies alongside other members of the State Bank’s Central Management Committee.
Preeyanat Soontornwata joined B. Grimm Group in 1992 as chief financial officer before taking on the role of president of B. Grimm Power in 1996. She led the company through the 1997 Asian financial crisis and was one of the pioneers of the private power generation industry in Thailand. Today, B. Grimm Power Public Company Limited is recognized as one of the leading private power producers with a portfolio of both conventional and renewal power projects in Thailand and overseas.
Amit Singh has been working in the renewable energy sector for last 12 years. In 2018, he received an Excellence in Business Leadership award in Fiji and a New Energy Leader award from ADB. He is the general manager of CBS Power Solutions (Fiji) Ltd, an engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for Pacific island countries whose goal is to provide clean, affordable energy solutions. CBS won the Best Large Business Operating Internationally award in 2017. It is extending its business as renewable energy project developer and operator.
Christina Tonkin is the managing director of loans and specialized finance for institutional banking and ANZ. This covers activities in corporate advisory, project finance, export finance, sustainable finance solutions, asset finance, leveraged finance, loan product and execution, loans agency and loan syndications. Ms. Tonkin holds a bachelor of science (hons) in geology and geophysics from Sydney University. She is vice president on the Executive Committee for Women in Banking and Finance, and a vice president and director of the National Stroke Foundation.
Gilles leads the power and utilities transaction advisory franchise in ASEAN, working with governments, utilities, and private sector clients on all aspects of the electricity value chain across investment, financing, and strategy, as well as the transition to new energy solutions and renewables. Mr. Pascual has 20 years of experience in the Asian power markets working as a consultant and a banker prior to his current role. He holds an MSc in aerospace engineering from the French National School of Aeronautics and Space Engineering.
Michael Barrow is director general of ADB's Private Sector Operations Department, handling all of ADB’s private infrastructure and financial institutions investments, lending, and guarantees. Prior to joining ADB, Mr. Barrow worked for the Deutsche Bank group over the course of 15 years. He was educated at the Lycee Internationale in Paris, France, after which he obtained an MA in oriental studies from Oxford University in England.
Tanya Beckett has worked in broadcasting and the media for over twenty years. She started out at the Financial Times, then went to work for CNBC, Sky News, CNN and since 1998, the BBC. She has worked on a variety of programs on BBC WorldNews, BBC Newschannel, Radio 4, and BBC1 and BBC2 including Our World, Working Lunch, Today, World Business Report, Newsnight, and World Business Report.
The island nations in the Pacific are geographically widespread, with small populations and stretched government resources. Many of these countries rely to a high extent on imported diesel as a source of fuel. This means that retail electricity tariffs are among the highest in the world. The use of fossil fuels adds to environmental uncertainty for islanders who are already at the frontline of climate change.
The conditions for solar and in some cases, hydro, wind, and biomass energy are very favorable. However, the financing of such projects is hindered as governments are financially stretched and the private sector has little track record for lenders to draw upon. In the wake of the financial crisis, banks struggle to lend for long tenors. Additionally, the markets in the region are often small, which detracts from their appeal to investors.
Despite the challenges, there is a growing and solid investor community focused on sustainable projects, including from the pension sector, which can be linked back to the region in the renewables sector. ADB is harnessing private sector appetite for the development of renewable energy projects, by providing partial underwriting of risk. This creates the conditions for projects to move forward and be developed.