Solar Power raising up to B24bn to expand

Construction News

Solar Power Co (SPC) is preparing to raise up to 24 billion baht in capital to finance solar farm power development.

The capital will come from various channels including joint ventures, bond issues, private placement and loans, with Kasikorn Securities as the company’s financial adviser, said managing director Wandee Khunchornyakong.

SPC holds 34 licences for a combined capacity of 206 megawatts in various provinces under the government’s very small power producer programme. All 34 solar farms will be completed by 2013.

The company currently runs only one project, Solar Farm (Korat1) Co, which started operating in April last year.

This year, SPC plans to build 16 solar installations costing about 700 million baht each. Its second project is now planned in Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom provinces.

The company owns a 60% stake in Korat 1, with 20% held by the International Finance Corporation, 15% by the Energy Foundation for Environment (E for E), and the rest by retail investors.

As part of its investment strategy, the company made last month a reverse takeover of MAI-listed Steel Intertech Plc, a steel-roofing producer, positioning it to become the largest solar farm developer in Southeast Asia.

“It would have taken too long if we had opted for an initial public offering,” said Ms Wandee.

After the takeover, Steel Intertech’s business will change from steel roofing to solar farms.

SPC last week signed a memorandum of understanding with the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) for a strategic partnership in renewable energy.

The partnership will also cover human resource development, engineering services, operating and maintenance, as well as monitoring services.

Ms Wandee said the PEA had also proposed to share an investment with SPC in pending solar power development projects. “A lot of power producers are interested in joining us in those development projects.”

She said solar farms would also benefit from selling carbon credits via the Clean Development Mechanism, with five company projects having applied for CDM.

“We expect Thailand will be the hub of renewable energy and solar farms will be a sunrise industry,” she said. “In the longer term, the company will develop solar cell technology jointly with the PEA, which is well equipped with facilities and human resources.”


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