BCPG allots B6bn for solar in Taiwan

BCPG allots B6bn for solar in Taiwan

A 16MW solar farm operated by BCPG in Ayutthaya's Bang Pahan district. The company is expanding its solar power investments in Taiwan.
A 16MW solar farm operated by BCPG in Ayutthaya's Bang Pahan district. The company is expanding its solar power investments in Taiwan.

SET-listed BCPG, the power generation arm of energy conglomerate Bangchak Corporation Plc, plans to develop new solar power projects worth around 6 billion baht in Taiwan because the country has good prospects and is moving towards clean energy.

The BCPG board recently approved a plan to build the solar power facilities, with installed electricity generation capacity of 357 megawatts.

The new assets take BCPG's total capacity for its solar farms in Taiwan to 469MW, up from 112MW, said Niwat Adirek, newly appointed chief executive of BCPG.

Construction of the new solar power facilities is scheduled to start between 2022 and 2024.

BCPG established subsidiary BCPG Formosa Co to expand its solar power business in Taiwan.

"Taiwan has good potential for clean energy development," said Mr Niwat.

The Taiwanese government aims to be less reliant on nuclear power and focus more on clean energy investments. Taipei plans to generate 13,000MW of solar energy within five years.

BCPG expects its projects to benefit from power purchase agreements, with a long-term feed-in tariff to be signed with Taiwan Power Co, a state enterprise that oversees electricity production and distribution in Taiwan.

The new solar power projects should sustain the business growth of BCPG, he said.

The investment budget is part of capital spending worth 48 billion baht allocated by Bangchak Corporation for use between 2021 and 2025.

Up to 64% of the total is earmarked for BCPG, with the remainder mostly allocated for oil refinery and trade businesses, said Mr Niwat.

The investment in Taiwan is part of BCPG's plan to strengthen its electricity sales overseas.

Earlier BCPG ventured into the cross-border transmission line business by acquiring US$32 million (1.07 billion baht) worth of shares in Laos-based Nam Tai Power Sole Co.

The purchase enables BCPG to operate the transmission system to sell electricity from Laos to state-owned Vietnam Electricity (EVN) in the neighbouring country, he said.

In another development, Bangchak Corp approved shareholder subscription for shares to be issued by BBGI Plc prior to its initial public offering, scheduled for the first quarter this year.

BBGI, a bio-business unit of Bangchak Corp, is scheduled to be spun off from its mother firm and listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

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