BGC in talks to buy Vietnam solar farms

BGC in talks to buy Vietnam solar farms

Company looking to renewable energy

BG Container Glass (BGC), Thailand's largest glass container packaging manufacturer by capacity, is negotiating with investors in Vietnam to buy solar farms worth over 1 billion baht as it seeks new business opportunities in renewable energy.

BGC’s solar farm in Vietnam currently has a capacity of 67 megawatts.

The company expects to conclude a deal in the fourth quarter for at least two farms, with a combined capacity of 50-100 megawatts.

It set a budget of 1-2 billion baht for the purchases.

BGC chief executive Silparat Watthanakasetr said the company aims to diversify its business and is eager to invest in renewable energy, specifically solar, wind and water resources.

"We want to focus on renewable businesses in Vietnam, Japan and Taiwan because these countries have high potential for renewable energy development and growth in electricity demand," he said.

BGC plans to increase its capacity for electricity generation to 300-400MW by 2022. It already acquired a solar farm, with a capacity of 67MW, in Vietnam.

The company allocated 3-4 billion baht this year for renewable energy and packaging businesses.

BGC continues to expand its packaging business using mergers and acquisitions in Thailand.

The goal is to make more value-added products.

The company is looking for new markets for its packaging products in the US and India as both countries have large populations and high demand for food and beverage packaging.

Mr Silparat said his company plans to increase its exports to 15% of total sales, up from 11%.

To improve productivity, the company redesigned its production to make lighter packages, allowing it to use less glass as a raw material.

It also expanded the capacity of its 11 glass-melting furnaces in Ratchaburi to 1 million tonnes a year, he said.

The facilities worth 2.6 billion baht started operation last year.

Mr Silparat said the spread of Covid-19 affected the packaging business because of the government's lockdown measures and its ban on alcohol sales during the pandemic.

"It was a difficult time from April to May. This period hurt our business so much," he said.

In the second half of 2020, BGC expects the domestic economy will recover, thanks to the government's stimulus package to build up business activities.

The company estimates 2020 revenue will be 12-13 billion baht, similar to last year.

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