Ratch closing in on new acquisitions

Ratch closing in on new acquisitions

Energy giant plans to spend B7bn on power plants

Wind turbines at the Collector Wind Farm project in New South Wales, Australia. It started operations in the first quarter this year.
Wind turbines at the Collector Wind Farm project in New South Wales, Australia. It started operations in the first quarter this year.

SET-listed Ratch Group expects to conclude its 7-billion-baht purchase of new power generation assets soon offering 350 megawatts of capacity, strengthening its status as the largest private power producer by capacity.

Chief executive Kijja Sripatthangkura did not name the assets, saying only that they are both fossil fuel-fired and renewable power plants, which are both operating and under construction.

Once the acquisition is complete, Ratch expects to increase its power generation capacity to 9,224MW by the end of this year, up from 8,874MW at present, including facilities that are under construction.

"Asset acquisition is the fastest way to expand our business as we want to achieve a target of 10,000MW by 2025," said Mr Kijja.

The purchases are both domestic and across Asia-Pacific, he said.

The acquisition budget is part of 15 billion baht in capital spending Ratch already allocated for this year.

The remaining 8 billion baht is for new power plant development projects in the pipeline.

Ratch operates power plants with a combined capacity of 7,215MW.

A power plant that started operation in the first quarter this year is the 227MW Collector Wind Farm project in New South Wales, Australia.

Two more facilities scheduled to begin operations this year are a 296MW gas-fired combined cycle turbine power project in Riau, Indonesia and Thanh Phong Wind Power project, with a capacity of 29.7MW, in Vietnam.

They are slated to open in October and the third quarter, respectively.

Four more gas-fired power plants are set to start operations in the next couple years: the 1,400MW Hin Kong Power Co, the 40MW REN Korat, the 30MW Ratch Cogen and the 92MW Nextif Rayong.

Mr Kijja said in the future, Ratch plans to acquire assets other than power generation to diversify, including the motorway business, especially fee collection management, by taking up state motorway projects.

He did not elaborate on whether Ratch will partner with companies with which it worked on previous motorway projects.

BTS Group Holdings Plc, Gulf Energy Development Plc, Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Plc and Ratch previously formed a consortium named BGSR to bid for state motorway projects.

The group won operation and maintenance contracts for routes from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima and from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi.

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