Thailand’s biggest coal company mulling US$170m Japan PV investment - reports

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email

Thai coal mining company Banpu will invest up to US$170 million in Japan’s solar market, according to a report by news agency Reuters.

Voravudhi Linananda, chief executive of Banpu’s power production unit told reporters that the company is interested in seven separate Japanese solar projects with a combined generation capacity of 54MW. These would begin construction this year and come online in 2017, while Banpu is also eyeing projects in China and Indonesia, Reuters said.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Considered Thailand’s biggest coal company, Banpu said it achieved a profit margin of 32% in 2015 for its coal despite a 15% average price decrease in selling prices for the year, due in part to an increased focus on cost reduction. The company is also placing greater emphasis on its power generation units which had a 38% profit margin last year.

Last month, Bangkok Post newspaper quoted former group CEO Chanin Vongkusolkit as having said that: “Coal-fired power plants present a more stable source of energy [than renewables] while keeping your electricity bills low.” However, Chanin’s successor, Somruedee Chaimongkol, who at the time of the Post article was CFO at Banpu said renewables facilities could be built more quickly and cheaply than coal.

In February Banpu rolled out a five-year plan for sustainable growth in the Asia-Pacific region, through which it aims to make renewable energy a 20% wedge of a total 4,300MW in operation by the end of 2025, from 1,800MW at present, measured by the company’s equity holdings in projects.

The announcement appears to mark continued interest in Japan’s solar market, which despite being in the process of tapering down its FiTs in anticipation of phasing out subsidies altogether by the early 2020s, is still attractive to overseas investors. This is partly due to the high number of projects registered for the first three years of the guaranteed buy-back scheme, which was introduced in 2012, when the tariffs were among the highest paid in the world.

In September last year, Thai investment bank Kasikornbank (KBank) agreed to help finance 10 Japanese solar PV plants, guaranteeing developer Premier Solution a JPY1.5 billion (US$12.4 million) loan offered by Tokyo Star Bank. Thailand’s Bangchak Petroleum also bought SunEdison’s Japanese PV plants for US$80 million in February this year.

27 June 2024
9am BST
FREE WEBINAR -This special webinar will take a deep dive into the latest PV ModuleTech Bankability Ratings pyramid, capturing the relative bankability status of the top 70-80 PV module suppliers globally. In addition to revealing the latest ranking of global PV module suppliers, PV Tech’s Head of Research, Finlay Colville, will show the depth of analysis and commentary included within the report for module suppliers. A key output from the webinar will be to learn which PV module suppliers have moved up the rankings pyramid in recent years and why this growth has been achieved. Conversely, some of the companies that have fallen down the rankings will be discussed, in particular those suffering from market-share losses and financial problems.

Read Next

Sponsored
June 19, 2024
Eric Ast-Comoli, global head of OEM Renewable Energy at Stäubli, discussed the company’s strategy in China, expansion plan and capacity.
June 19, 2024
Global grid capacity needs to grow 2.5 times its current size, and annual expenditure on grids must more than double to US$970 billion by 2050, according to a new report from DNV.
June 18, 2024
660GW of solar PV capacity will  be deployed in 2024 as market demand responds to sustained low module prices, according to polysilicon market researcher Bernreuter Research.
June 18, 2024
Global solar installations increased by 87% year-on-year in 2023 as China continued to dominate growth, according to SolarPower Europe.
Sponsored
June 17, 2024
At SNEC 2024 last week, PV Tech spoke to John Zhang, deputy general manager of inverter manufacturer and smart energy provider Hypontech.
Sponsored
June 17, 2024
During SNEC 2024 event, PV Tech spoke with Hopewind's Sara Wang about its range of products at the event, and its latest rebranding efforts.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece
Solar Media Events
July 9, 2024
Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia