Solar-roofed warehouse to rise on Bang Na-Trat

Solar-roofed warehouse to rise on Bang Na-Trat

WHA Corporation, the SET-listed warehouse and logistics firm, has joined with KPN Group Corporation, a high-rise property developer, to build a 710,000-square-metre warehouse with solar rooftop at a cost of 3.6 billion baht.

Chief executive Somyos Anantaprayoon said his company holds a 65% stake in the joint venture, called WHA KPN Alliance, while KPN owns the rest.

The project, located on 176 rai of land near Bang Na-Trat Road, will be completed within two years.

WHA is also in talks with other property developers to rent land with high growth potential for logistics.

"If we can achieve the goal, WHA will have enough land for business expansion in the next two or three years to serve customer demand in the future," said Mr Somyos.

WHA's overall warehouse rental space will approach 1 million sq m by year-end from 700,000 sq m now, and it has 1,000 rai of land reserved for future development.

The company has boosted this year's investment budget to 10 billion baht from 8 billion. The additional spending includes the solar roof project.

WHA recently issued debentures worth 2.9 billion baht to refinance debt and expand the business.

The firm already has a licence for an existing solar roof project. Its first phase called for an investment of up to 2 billion baht.

The project will generate 20 megawatts of electricity through 200,000 sq m of solar roof panels, paving the way for WHA to become the country's biggest power producer from solar roofs.

Revenue is forecast at 9-10 million baht a megawatt.

"We'll apply for a licence for the new solar roof warehouse next year if the state opens a new round of licensing," said Mr Somyos.

He sees company revenue jumping to 7.3 billion baht this year from 2.2 billion last year thanks to strong demand in warehouse rentals and sales plus extra revenue from selling assets to the WHA Property Fund (WHAPF).

The fund, through its purchases, will see assets rise to nearly 10 billion baht this quarter from 5.2 billion now.

Meanwhile, Kris Narongdej, the chairman of KPN Group Corporation, said his firm plans to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand by the fourth quarter of next year.

The size of the initial public offering is estimated at 10 billion baht.

Mr Kris said KPN will apply under general listing rules requiring at least a three-year track record of net profit.

The company's properties under development and in presales include two new condo projects in the Sathon and Thong Lor areas.

The luxury condominium on Sathon Road is worth 2.7 billion baht, while the Thong Lor project is valued at 3 billion. Both are about 50% pre-booked.

Shares of WHA closed yesterday on the SET at 42 baht, up 25 satang, in trade worth 32.8 million baht.

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