ACE sinks B20bn into renewable projects

ACE sinks B20bn into renewable projects

A biomass-fired power plant located in Krabi. The plant is one of the renewable power generation facilities operated by ACE.
A biomass-fired power plant located in Krabi. The plant is one of the renewable power generation facilities operated by ACE.

SET-listed Absolute Clean Energy (ACE), a local biomass power developer and operator, is planning to allocate 20 billion baht to finance 55 renewable power plant projects it won in auctions as part of Thailand's clean energy policy.

Eight of the 55 projects are ready for development after the company cleared legal hindrances, said Tanachai Bunditvorapoom, chief executive of ACE.

ACE earlier signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) on the eight projects with the Provincial Electricity Authority, the state power distribution arm, but the authority revoked the agreements as the company was not able to supply electricity on the dates laid out in the PPAs. These projects fall under the biomass power category.

The company, which said it faced "unexpected" events leading to a delay in the construction, brought the issue to arbitrators who eventually helped the two sides settle their legal dispute.

This allows the company to push ahead with the eight projects, with combined electricity generation capacity of 79.2 megawatts, said Mr Tanachai.

Some of the other projects, which include ground-mounted solar power plants and biogas-fired power generation facilities, already have a PPA, while others are waiting for the PPA to be endorsed.

Mr Tanachai said his company plans to raise 20 billion baht in funds to support the development of all 55 projects.

The majority of the funds, tallying 14 billion baht, would come from loans ACE would seek from commercial banks, he said.

The other 6 billion baht would come from 1.3 billion baht allocated from from the company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation annually as well as from the issuance of debentures valued between 500 million to 1 billion baht.

As of September, ACE operated 23 power generation facilities, with combined capacity of 258MW.

The 55 projects are among the company's 68 new projects currently under development. The projects have a combined capacity of 395MW.

In the long term, the company aims to increase its total capacity to 1,000MW.

Mr Tanachai expects ACE's revenue next year to be on a par with this year's earnings, which are expected to reach 6 billion baht. The revenue will mainly come from additional power generation capacity.

He believes the firm will see a big increase in revenue in 2025 when its new power plants start commercial operations.

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