Superblock enters Vietnam

Superblock enters Vietnam

Superblock Plc has sealed a deal with a Vietnamese partner to develop 700 megawatts of wind farm projects in the southern region of Vietnam in hope of capitalising on rising demand in tandem with a vibrant economy.

The SET-listed building material maker, which has recently switched to renewable power generation, is focusing on the CLMV countries, managing director Jormsup Lochaya said.

It plans to push power-generating capacity at home and abroad to 2,500MW within three years, up from the current 809MW, he said.

The wind farm projects will be a joint venture with the biggest renewable power generator in Vietnam, he said.

"Superblock will hold a 51% stake and the Vietnamese partner the rest. The project will require an investment budget of 56 billion baht," Mr Jormsup said.

The joint venture will set up six subsidiary companies to run 90-140MW at each wind farm. The first project is to break ground by year-end, with revenue expected from 2019, said the senior executive.

He said the company has sufficient cash flow to spend 15-20 billion baht on the project.

But the venture will borrow from local banks or raise an infrastructure fund to obtain cash for the investment.

Mr Jormsup said Superblock expects to raise 10 billion baht from the fund by using its 118MW power plant as a collateral asset. The fund should be launched this year.

Superblock switched its focus to renewable energy in 2013 by spinning off major assets and setting up its wholly owned Super Solar Energy, which it had planned to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand this year. The plan has been delayed to the end of next year or 2019, Mr Jormsup said.

The wind farm projects were endorsed by an "historic" memorandum of agreement signed last week in Vietnam.

"It showed the two companies are ready to start investing in a long-term project that will benefit both," Mr Jormsup said.

SUPER shares closed yesterday at 1.31 baht, up seven satang, in trade worth 518.9 million baht.

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