PTT plans lithium ion battery plant

PTT plans lithium ion battery plant

Facility envisioned for EEC, to open by 2019

A prototype of PTT's electric vehicle charging station in Wang Noi district, Ayutthaya. APICHIT JINAKUL
A prototype of PTT's electric vehicle charging station in Wang Noi district, Ayutthaya. APICHIT JINAKUL

Global Power Synergy Plc (GPSC), the energy business arm of national oil and gas firm PTT Plc, is planning to develop a lithium ion battery factory worth 1 billion baht.

In the first phase of development, the project will be a joint venture with a Japanese partner (whose name is yet to be confirmed) and will have a power storage capacity of 100 megawatt-hours.

President Toemchai Bunnag said the production facility will probably be located in the Eastern Economic Corridor and start operations before the end of 2019.

In order to build the project, SET-listed GPSC will lease production technology from a subsidiary, 24M Technologies.

GPSC already has an agreement on the licences and services needed to develop the production facility in Thailand from 24M Technologies, an American startup.

Battery production is first expected to meet demand for power storage units in the power sector, rather than in the electric vehicle sector, he said.

Policymakers will let owners of solar rooftops sell their leftover power to state utilities in the fourth quarter, but the programme won't be fully implemented until next year.

Mr Toemchai said GPSC is conducting a feasibility study for the solar panel business and energy storage units, as the company plans to diversify into solar rooftops going forward.

"Solar rooftops are not efficient at night time, but have the capacity to increase their efficiency if they are coupled with energy storage solutions," he said.

GPSC also plans to partner with a leading property developer in Thailand. Details of the partnership will be announced by year-end.

GPSC expects revenue this year to grow by 5.3% to 21.8 billion baht, up from 20.7 billion in 2016.

Revenue growth will be propelled by the operation of additional power plants, which will produce a combined 377 megawatts.

Power plants added this year include the 117MW Bang Pa-In Industrial Corporate plant, the 240MW IRPC Clean Power facility, and the Ichinoseki Solar Power Generation Project 1 in Japan (20MW).

Mr Toemchai said the additional capacity going up this year will bring the company's total to 1,742MW.

GPSC also has two hydropower plants on hand in Laos that are under development and are expected to be operational by 2019.

The Lao facilities are the Nam Lik Hydro Power Plant (65MW) and the Xayaburi Hydro Power Plant (1,285MW), Mr Toemchai said.

GPSC shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 40 baht, up 25 satang, in trade worth 136 million baht.

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