Egat continues to build its ‘Khun Sai Chol’ coffee shops

Construction News
From left Egat deputy governor Nutthavutthi Chamchang, governor Viboon Rerksirathai and incoming governor Boonyanit Wongrukmit.

Egat continues to build its ‘Khun Sai Chol’ coffee shops

State-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is further strengthening coffee brand Khun Sai Chol with the expectation of benefiting the local economy.

Egat’s first coffeehouse, opened in 2017, aims to generate revenue for coffee growers farming near Egat-owned Srinakarin hydropower dam in Kanchanaburi.

Egat has taken almost three years to test and adjust its retail coffee business, branching out Khun Sai Chol to seven shops near its seven hydropower dams.

“We have to know how to manage the service, find the right business model and better manage billing for our business expansion,” Nutthavutthi Chamchang, Egat’s deputy governor, said as the agency yesterday opened a new branch at its headquarters in Nonthaburi.

Egat spent 2 million baht building the shop in an area of 90 square metres.

Egat will take another two years to design the business plan and set up more branches outside its power plant areas. The coffee shops may be co-invested in by local communities, similar to the Energy for All scheme that communities can join to develop renewables-based power plants.

Mr Nutthavutthi said the business concept will differ from that of profit-oriented mainstream coffee shops, as Egat’s first priority is sharing benefits with local communities.

Egat is considering whether to set up a new business unit or a subsidiary firm to run Khun Sai Chol.

Each coffee shop is expected to require between 600,000 and 1 million baht for construction, excluding land costs.

Coffee beans will be supplied by growers in Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi and Lampang, which are known for coffee plantations.

Egat governor Viboon Rerksirathai said the benefit-sharing concept follows Egat’s non-energy development project, which has turned areas near power plants into new tourist attractions over the past two decades.

Among them is Rajjaprabha hydropower dam in Surat Thani, noted for hosting water sports, hiking and trekking.

Egat is promoting tourist spots at four hydropower dams to stimulate tourist spending after the lockdown period ended. They are Bhumibol dam in Tak, Srinakarin and Vajiralongkorn dams in Kanchanaburi and Lamtakong dam in Nakhon Ratchasima.

Some 100,000-200,000 people visit tourist sites near Egat-owned power plants each year.