Renewable energy firm IFEC expands into Chiang Mai luxury hospitality

Construction News

Inter Far East Energy Corporation Plc (IFEC), a renewable energy firm, has projected a new revenues breakdown, 15 per cent of which is expected to come from its hotel business Dhara Dhevi after completing a takeover last year.

“We expect Dhara Dhevi will have new strategic partners accounting for a 5 to 10-per-cent equity [stake] after exiting from the rehabilitation plan by the end of June,” chairman Wichai Thavornwatthanayon said recently.

IFEC acquired 100 per cent of the debt-ridden luxury hotel Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai for Bt2.5 billion and assumed another Bt1 billion in debt. The company was previously a vendor of photocopying machines before transitioning to the renewable energy sector.

Under the hotel’s turnaround plan, Wichai said Dhara Dhevi would be set up as a holding company 100 per cent owned by IFEC before listing its shares on the stock market in the next few years.

He added that in the near future the hotel planned to form a joint venture with a private property company to develop a 40-rai (6.4-hectare) plot on the hotel grounds, which cover a total of 155 rai. The new joint venture, which is expected to be formally announced in July, will include high-end residences and condominiums worth Bt5 billion.

Dhara Dhevi would operate businesses including property management, joint ventures, food and beverage, spas and wellness centres, and the Dhara Dhevi brand management, Wichai said.

Apart from revenues from the hotel business, IFEC expects 60 per cent of its business will still come from renewable energy generation, 20 per cent from supporting businesses related to renewable energy, and 5 per cent from other ventures, Wichai said.

Starting this year, IFEC has set a target of generating 100 megawatts of electricity from solar cells, increasing from the current 21.5MW, while increasing wind generation from 10MW to 300MW. Combined generation from waste-to-energy and biomass projects are projected to grow from 6.8MW to 10MW.