Glenn Frazier, the managing director of SNC-Lavalin (Thailand), said the company re-entered Thailand four years ago to provide full service to thermal power plants in the region.
He said power business demand in Asia has risen rapidly on the back of economic growth in the region. The thermal sector includes power plants fuelled by natural gas, coal and combined cycles.
The company chose Thailand as its hub due to the availability of talent and competitive cost of operations.
“We’re seeing opportunities that business could increase 10-fold over five years,” said Mr Frazier.
“The growth is not only in fossil fuels but also in renewable energies in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.”
Lavalin provides a full range of services comprising design, engineering, procurement, construction and project finance.
It plans to increase personnel at the Thai business unit to 100 from 45 to serve growing demand in the regional market. Lavalin will also send over a dozen staff to the US for a one-month training course to enhance their technical skills.
Lavalin has many other divisions in Southeast Asia, including hydropower, infrastructure, mining, metallurgy, hydrocarbons and chemicals in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok and Hanoi. It will expand to Manila soon.
The company has been in talks with many potential local administrations in Thailand on waste-to-energy projects, but no deals have been completed.
In 2008, the company signed an engineering service contract with Siam Power Generation Co’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) project worth 136 million baht. From 2010-2011, it was awarded contracts worth 137.8 million baht from the Provincial Electricity Authority and Palm Concepcion Power Corporation’s thermal power project.
The company has high hopes for the engineering service contracts to be awarded for the third round of IPP bidding next year with a combined capacity of 5,400 megawatts, as well as licences for small and very small power producers.