10-year budget lifted to B75 billion
B. Grimm, one of Thailand’s oldest trading conglomerates, expects to be awarded four additional small power producer (SPP) licences on top of five already granted as it expands its 10-year investment budget to 75 billion baht.
Preeyanart Soontornwata, president of Amata B. Grimm Power Ltd, said the company was awarded five new SPP licences in December last year and expected four more in the next SPP round to be announced soon.
Four projects were committed to last year before the five in December, with operations due to start between 2012 and 2014, she said.
“Late last year, we had only four projects in the pipeline involving investments of about 20 billion baht,” said Ms Preeyanart.
Each project requires a budget of approximately 5-5.5 billion baht for a generating capacity of 120-130 megawatts.
The expected date of operation will be from 2012 to 2016, she added.
The first project slated for operation in 2012 is now under construction. Project financing of 4.2 billion baht was closed in July last year with a term of 20 years, making it the longest project financing ever in Thailand.
“We are working on the project financing for another two new projects that will begin construction in May this year for operation starting in 2013,” she said.
Many Thai and foreign banks have expressed strong interest in participating in the 7.5-billion-baht financing of these two projects, she added.
B. Grimm group chairman Harald Link said the group expected to expand its power-generating capacity by more than five times to 2,000 MW in 2019 from 350 MW this year.
“In 2011, we expect to build four new projects, one of which has already started construction,” he said.
By 2019, 16 plants will be in operation.
B. Grimm now operates three SPP plants in Thailand and Vietnam. Amata Power (Bian Hoa) in Vietnam is the company’s first overseas project. B. Grimm holds 60% with Poyry Energy AG and Amta Vietnam holding 30% and 10%, respectively.
Ms Preeyanart said 75% of investment cost in each project would be financed by bank loans and 25% shareholder equity. Its current debt-to-equity ratio is 3:1.
“Thanks to our intensive expertise in power development, we are exploring and open to new investment opportunities for both local and overseas projects,” Ms Preeyanart added.