EA to build charging stations
A SET-listed renewable energy firm, Energy Absolute Plc (EA), has announced plans to develop and operate charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) for the first time in Thailand, allotting 600 million baht to set up charging stations nationwide over the next few years.
EA said the project will be done through its subsidiary, Energy Mahanakorn Co (EMN), which plans to develop EV charger stations in Greater Bangkok starting at the end of this year. A few hundred charging stations are planned initially, rising to 1,000 units by the end of 2018.
Sompote Ahunai, chief executive of EA, said EMN also signed a memorandum of understanding with the state utility, the Metropolitan Electricity Authority, for coordinating and facilitating the project under the name EA Anywhere.
The move paves the way to commercialise EVs in the near future as most EV chargers in Thailand are only pilot projects located at state-owned oil firms in the testing phase.
Mr Sompote said the charging stations have been designed to match new EV technologies such as plug-in hybrid EVs and battery EVs.
With aggressive development of the EV sector, he said Thais expect to see EV charging stations across the country within the next two years.
EMN has launched two charging stations as pilot projects since midyear at Siam Paragon and Siam Center, which provide charging service free of charge until October this year.
The EV charging rate is expected to be in line with the electricity rate approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission recently.
For areas outside Bangkok, EMN plans to develop charging stations at petrol stations of SET-listed oil retailer Susco Plc.
The government policy calls for 1.2 million units of EVs on the roads by 2036, up from only a handful now.
In related news, EA is preparing to develop one of Thailand's biggest wind farms in Chaiyaphum, Hanuman Wind Farm, with a total capacity of 126 megawatts. Total capital expenditure for the farm is 20 billion baht.
EA is also close to the final stage of selecting a location to develop a lithium battery production facility in Thailand.
The tentative selection area is expected to be in the planned Eastern Economic Corridor.
EA shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 37 baht, an increase of 75 satang, in trade worth 716 million baht.