EA allots B7.4bn for 2020 with eye on diversification

EA allots B7.4bn for 2020 with eye on diversification

Firm to focus on EVs, innovative products

A prototype electric vehicle from Mine Mobility at an auto showcase in April. Patipat Janthong
A prototype electric vehicle from Mine Mobility at an auto showcase in April. Patipat Janthong

SET-listed Energy Absolute Plc (EA) has announced a 2020 budget of 7.4 billion baht to invest in business diversification into energy storage, electric cars and ferries, and other innovative projects.

Omsin Siri, vice-president for corporate communication, said 90% of the total budget is allocated to develop electric vehicles (EVs) and ferries, as well as energy storage.

The remaining 10% is set aside for green diesel from palm oil and phase-change materials (PCMs) -- substances that release or absorb sufficient energy at phase transition to provide useful heat or cooling.

"EA's investment aims to expand into other potential projects, in addition to renewable power generation, which is EA's core business," Ms Omsin said.

Some 3 billion baht of the 7.4-billion budget will go to construction of an energy storage facility in Chachoengsao.

It is the first phase of development with a capacity of 1 gigawatt-hour.

EA entered a joint venture with Taiwan's Amita Technologies to develop 50GWh in lithium-ion batteries for energy storage in the province.

The company scheduled commercial operation of the first phase to start in the final quarter of 2020.

The output from this phase will be used for power generation and to supply EVs.

Amorn Sapthaweekul, EA's deputy chief executive, said the company signed an agreement with Suvarnabhumi Taxi Cooperatives to supply 3,500 EVs for the taxi fleet.

"Delivery will begin in the second quarter of 2020," Mr Amorn said, but EA's assembly plant for EVs has yet to complete construction.

The plant is designed to assemble electric ferries to serve operators on the Chao Phraya River.

He said EA is also working with Amita Technologies to equip the batteries for 2020.

The EVs and ferries are operated by EA's subsidiary, Mine Mobility Research Co.

At present, EA has renewable power generation of 664 megawatts in operation.

Ms Omsin said the current sentiment regarding renewable power is the market is becoming saturated with little room to grow because the government cut feed-in tariffs for buying electricity back to the state grid for new renewable power projects.

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