BCPG eager to build Asean's largest wind farm in Laos

BCPG eager to build Asean's largest wind farm in Laos

BCPG's wind power facilities in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The company will spend US$840 million to develop a wind farm in southern Laos.
BCPG's wind power facilities in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The company will spend US$840 million to develop a wind farm in southern Laos.

SET-listed BCPG Plc, a renewable energy arm of Bangchak Corporation Plc, plans to build Asean's largest wind farm in Laos to generate revenue from rising demand for electricity.

The company announced it will spend US$ 840 million, around 26.8 billion baht, developing the facility, with a capacity of 600 megawatts, on 400,000 rai in southern Laos.

The farm will be located near the Mekong River across Ubon Ratchathani.

Electricity will be sold to Vietnam's state-run Electricity Vietnam (EVN).

President and chief executive Bundit Sapianchai said his company plans to sign a power purchase agreement with EVN this October to kick start the project, named "Swan".

BCPG invests in the project through its subsidiary, Impact Energy Asia Development Co, acquiring 45% ownership. The other 55% is held by Impact Electrons Siam.

Swan construction will start after the signing. It is expected to operate by 2023.

Mr Bundit said BCPG is also in the process of purchasing a solar farm, currently under construction, at cost estimated at between $100 and $200 million. It has a capacity of up to 200MW.

He said Laos and Vietnam have an agreement to trade power across the border at a combined capacity of 5,000MW, so there is plenty of opportunity for investment.

Vientiane set an ambitious goal to be the "Battery of Asean".

Earlier BCPG took over 114MW Nam San 3A and 3B from a firm in Laos to sell electricity to EVN.

Mr Bundit said BCPG's rapid expansion is aimed at offsetting a decline in revenue because adder tariffs for its 11 solar farms in Thailand are scheduled to expire during 2023 and 2024.

Authorities encourage investors to build solar farms by adding an eight-baht tariff to electricity prices, allowing BCPG to sell power to the state grid at around 12 baht per kilowatt-hour (unit) during eight years after operation.

Once the period ends, the price will plummet to 3.6 baht per unit on average.

Krungsri Securities estimated last month the expiry will decrease the 11 solar farms' net profit by 1.5 billion baht per year.

Mr Bundit said BCPG maintains its plan to spend 45-billion-baht capital expenditure for its business expansion between 2020 and 2024. It intends to increase total power generation capacity to 842MW, up from 452MW.

The spending will go to its projects in Laos, three solar farms in Japan as well as District Cooling System (DCS) project at the compound of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

DCS is the latest project BCPG is working on with two other companies to develop a cooling system for office, retail and residential properties.

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