Gulf Gunkul eyes expanding its renewable power businesses through Thai government clean energy projects
Gunkul Engineering Plc, a renewables developer and construction firm, is working with Gulf Energy Development Plc, Thailand’s largest power producer by market value, to expand its renewable power businesses through government clean energy projects.
The two firms jointly set up Gulf Gunkul Corporation in May last year to seek new business opportunities as the government wants to depend less on fossil fuels, part of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Somboon Aueatchasai, chief executive of Gunkul Engineering, said Gulf Gunkul is interested in joining a new auction for a 3.66-gigawatt renewable power scheme, overseen by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Bidding is expected to take place under the next government administration, following the country’s general election scheduled for May.
The first auction for a renewable power scheme, with 5.2GW in electricity generation capacity, attracted huge interest from investors, who proposed projects with a total capacity of almost 17GW, according to the Energy Ministry.
Gulf Gunkul was among the bidders in the first auction. The company’s 25 project proposals, including wind and solar farms, qualified for the final round of selection. The projects have a combined capacity of 1,100 megawatts.
The 5.2GW capacity included bio-gas (335MW), wind power (1,500MW), on-ground solar farms (2,368MW), and on-ground solar farms with energy storage systems (1,000MW).
The ERC is scheduled to announce the winners of the auction on April 23.
Commercial operations of selected projects under the 5.2GW renewable power scheme are expected to take place from 2024 to 2030.
With expertise from the two firms supporting Gulf Gunkul, Mr Somboon believes the joint venture can increase its competitiveness and record significant growth as the country shifts towards greater use of renewable energy.
Gulf Gunkul aims to accelerate growth of renewable energy projects to 1,000MW within five years.
Gunkul Engineering has a 50% stake in Gulf Gunkul.
He said the new firm will focus on wind and solar power projects both in Thailand and overseas, and seek business opportunities in other renewable energy development.
Gunkul Engineering plans to allocate capital spending of 40 billion baht for use between 2023-2027, said Mr Somboon.
Up to 22 billion baht of the budget will support Gulf Gunkul, he said.
Some 15 billion baht will go to power generation capacity expansion plans, while the remaining 3 billion is to support the firm’s construction, energy innovation and hemp businesses.