Egat seeks to issue B20bn SET fund

Construction News

The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is ready to issue a second infrastructure fund and list it on the Stock Exchange of Thailand if it receives the green light from the government, according to a top official.

Under a tentative plan, the fund would be worth 20 billion baht based on the assets of the North Bangkok Power Plant’s newly developed second power-generating unit with a capacity of 670 megawatts that began operations this year, said Wanchai Hongcherdchai, Egat’s assistant governor overseeing accounting issues.

The second fund is expected to repeat the success of the first one, EGATIF, which was issued in April last year worth 20 billion baht. It was based on the assets of its North Bangkok Power Plant Block 1 with a capacity of 670MW that started operations in 2013.

“Since early this year, the fund has become more attractive for investors,” Mr Wanchai said, adding that if the second fund receives a warm welcome, Egat will consider a third fund to finance capital expenditure over the next five years.

Egat’s capital expenditure for this year to 2020 is estimated at 500 billion baht. Half will be for the development of new power plants and repowering retired power plants, while the other half will be for the development of new transmission lines and an upgrading of retired transmission lines.

Egat will use repowering plants and new power plants as assets if it wants to issue more infrastructure funds in the future.

Egat’s repowering projects includes North Bangkok Power Plant, South Bangkok Power Plant, Bang Pa Kong Power Plant and Mae Moh Power Plant, while it is developing coal-fired power plants in Krabi and Songkhla.

Egat’s infrastructure funds are in line with the government’s plan to cut its public debt at a time when it is investing in many infrastructure megaprojects worth 2.2 trillion baht over the next 10 years.

Egat governor Soonchai Kamnoonsate said it was conducting a feasibility study into liquefied natural gas (LNG) business because in the long term Egat would have to rely more on imported LNG as a power-generating resource.

Energy policymakers estimate that Thailand will have to import up to 33 million tonnes of LNG each year by 2036, up from 4 million tonnes this year, of which more than half of the gas was consumed by Egat.

If Egat eventually enters the LNG business, it will import the gas to feed its repowering South Bangkok Power Plant, which consumes around 3 million tonnes of gas to generate power with a capacity of 2,800MW. Construction of the plant is due to start soon.