Thai coal major Banpu plans USD-2bn renewables expansion - report

Solar power station. Featured Image: worradirek/Shutterstock.com

April 7 (SeeNews) - Thailand-based Banpu PCL (BKK:BANPU) plans to invest some USD 2 billion (EUR 1.76bn) in order to boost its global renewable energy operations to 800 MW through 2025, two company officials unveiled last week.  

The coal miner and power producer’s CEO Somrudee Chaimongkol told the Bangkok Post that the firm will aim to increase its cumulative installed capacity to 4,300 MW by the same year from the 1,800 MW it currently has. It expects renewables to account for approximately 20% of the total.

In line with the expansion strategy for its green sub-segment, the company will allocate some USD 170 million for photovoltaic (PV) projects in Japan alone, power unit chief executive, Voravudhi Linananda, told reporters. At present, it has stakes in seven Japanese solar farms, totalling 54 MW, which are scheduled for commissioning between 2016 and 2018.  

Banpu made its renewable energy debut last year in an effort to offset the negative effect falling coal prices have had on its business. Other green opportunities for the firm include investing or acquiring wind, biomass, biogas and hydropower schemes in Thailand, China, Indonesia and Japan among other locations, the Bangkok Post said.

The funds for Banpu’s ambitious growth plans will consist of 75% project finance, with the remainder coming from equity. All in all, the Thai company will invest USD 5 billion in all of its divisions by 2025.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.877)

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