Qing Dao-based Techen Technologies (Thailand) Co announced yesterday that its new Thai factory slated to make solar panels will start operations next month.
The solar panels produced at the factory in Chonburi will help generate up to 300 megawatts of power per year.
Managing director Zeng Anson said the new production facility, worth about US$100 million, is the company’s fourth, with the other three in China, Brazil and Peru.
He said around 60% of the panels produced at the factory will be sold in Asean countries, including Thailand, while the remaining 40% will be sold in Europe and the United States.
The facility in Thailand will help increase Techen’s global power generating capacity to 1,000MW.
The company has partnered with SET-listed Banpu Plc, Asean’s largest coal miner, and Huawei to develop solar rooftop systems on 23 buildings at the King Mongkut Institute of Technology, Ladkrabang (KMITL).
The solar panels on KMITL’s buildings will have total power generating capacity of 4.3MW, with an investment costs of 180 million baht. The solar rooftops are set to be up and running by the end of this year.
Mr Zeng said Thailand has potential to run solar farms and solar rooftops, with the country’s energy policymakers expected to open an auction to develop an additional 800MW of solar power facilities by year-end.
The new solar power auction includes the right to develop solar rooftop systems on the buildings of state agencies and solar farms to sell power back to the Provincial Electricity Authority and the Metropolitan Electricity Authority.
Techen expects the cost of solar panels per megawatt to drop 20% within the next five years as the rising number of solar cell users should help increase economies of scale.
Meanwhile, Somruedee Chaimongkol, chief executive of Banpu, said the company plans to increase its power generating capacity to 4,300MW by 2025, up from 1,860MW.
The company is also in talks with 12 other universities in Thailand to develop solar rooftops on their campuses.
Ms Somruedee further mentioned plans to list its wholly-owned subsidiary, Banpu Power Plc (BPP) on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, with the price of the 648.5 million shares from the initial public offering (IPO) to be announced by Sept 26.
Bual Luang Securities, K Bank Securities and Thanachart Securities will underwrite the IPO.