BCPG seeks out partners for green drive

BCPG seeks out partners for green drive

A depiction of the White Gum Valley project developed by Power Ledger and its partners near Fremantle, Western Australia. The energy platform will be used at a Sansiri project.
A depiction of the White Gum Valley project developed by Power Ledger and its partners near Fremantle, Western Australia. The energy platform will be used at a Sansiri project.

BCPG, the SET-listed renewable power arm of oil refiner and retailer Bangchak Corporation, is negotiating merger and acquisition (M&A) agreements with a set of renewable energy firms as it strives to expand abroad and capitalise on growing demand for green energy.

The company aims to expand its market presence further in Australia, South Korea and Japan, as well as Asean.

BCPG also expects to increase installation of renewable power generation this year by an additional 100 megawatts, up from 600MW.

Of the current capacity, BCPG has 400MW in renewable energy that is operational while the rest remains under construction.

BCPG's ongoing development projects will begin operating in 2018, including a 12MW solar farm in Thailand, two solar power farms in Japan with 24MW each, a 14MW wind farm in the Philippines and a 158MW geothermal power plant in Indonesia.

President and chief executive Bundit Sapianchai expects some new wind farm and solar power M&As to be concluded soon.

At home, BCPG is installing a solar rooftop under an agreement with a leading property developer, Sansiri Plc, with capacity of 30MW, up from 5-10MW at present.

"BCPG is very keen on solar rooftops using blockchain technology, a part of the Internet of Things (IoT)," Mr Bundit said.

Through its collaboration with Sansiri, the T77 project on Sukhumvit Soi 77 will be Thailand's first smart community. The project, on an 80-rai plot, will manage its own power supply through solar rooftops with the aid of blockchain technology.

BCPG also has a strategic partner, Perth-based Power Ledger, which will bring peer-to-peer (P2P) renewable energy trading to Thailand. That will make T77 the first P2P renewable energy trading project in Asean.

Mr Bundit said the first phase comprises Habito Mall, with approximately 55 kilowatts (kW), Bangkok Prep International School (230kW) and MK Property's Park Court Condominium (180kW). The rooftop solar panels have been installed at Habito Mall and electricity sales are expected in June.

He said the company plans to spend 7 billion baht over the next few years to generate 100-200MW, having signed an agreement with the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand to apply blockchain at the IEAT's industrial estates in early 2018.

The Smart Park Industrial Estate will be the first such collaborative project in the much-touted Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) scheme.

The EEC will be the initial location for setting up a smart industrial park and production facility platform to attract investors from around the world.

"BCPG expects to spend 3-5 billion baht to set up a capacity installation and around 1-2 billion baht for construction," Mr Bundit said.

BCPG has set aside 10 billion baht to expand the renewable energy and blockchain projects.

Mr Bundit said BCPG is confident that the blockchain technology will induce policymakers to deregulate the country's power supply, decentralising it in provincial areas.

Nonetheless, James Eggleston, a senior analyst at Power Ledger, an Australian startup that develops blockchain technology, said the company has a number of blockchain energy trading platforms in many countries, including Thailand, New Zealand, India and Japan.

The firm has teamed up with Clean Energy Blockchain Network to introduce the platform at Northwestern University for a commercial development in the US.

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