BPP's US gas plant buy closing soon

BPP's US gas plant buy closing soon

Part of coordination with parent's assets

The El Wind Mui Dinh wind farm in Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam is among assets undergoing a due diligence review.
The El Wind Mui Dinh wind farm in Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam is among assets undergoing a due diligence review.

Banpu Power (BPP), a power generation arm of non-oil energy conglomerate Banpu, expects its plan to acquire a gas-fired power plant in the US to be completed in the first half of this year.

The acquisition of the plant, with installed capacity of more than 1,000 megawatts, is among several asset purchase deals under the company's due diligence review before its final decision.

All target power generation facilities have power purchase agreements, though some are under construction.

BPP's latest investment plan in the US is designed to synergise with its mother company, which obtained gas production licences in the Marcellus shale field in Pennsylvania and Barnett shale field in Texas, said Kirana Limpaphayom, BPP's chief executive.

Banpu acquired the Marcellus shale asset in 2016 and Barnett shale asset last year. They have combined capacity of 700 standard cubic feet per day.

BPP is also conducting a due diligence review of large power plant assets in Asian countries where Banpu already operates. These include China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Mr Kirana said fossil-fired power plants BPP wants to acquire in Asia have high efficiency in power generation, but low emissions.

He said the company is in the process of obtaining licences to develop renewable power projects across Asia, with a total capacity of 100-200MW. This process is expected to finish this year.

Mr Kirana said BPP allocated capital spending worth nearly US$300 million this year for ongoing development projects. The budget excludes its planned asset acquisitions.

The company set a target to increase power generation capacity to 5,300MW within 2025, up from 2,860MW at present.

New power plants scheduled to operate this year include 66MW Kesennuma and Shirakawa solar farms in Japan and 40MW Vinh Chau Wind Farm in Vietnam.

BPP's subsidiary Banpu Next also targets to expand its energy technology businesses, increasing power generation capacity from rooftop solar panels and floating solar farms to 500MW from 249MW within 2025.

In the same period, Banpu Next plans to increase the number of users of its car-hailing applications to 10,000 from 2,500 at present and increase the number electric tuk-tuks to 5,500 from 98.

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