Thailand’s solar-power output is set to soar by more than 200MW after Solar Power Company (SPC) revealed plans to raise capital to finance development following the completion of its reverse takeover of Steel Intertech.
SPC is raising up to 24bn baht ($788m) through a range of financial instruments, including bond issues, private placements and loans, company president Wandee Khunchornyakong says.
The company, which has been awarded 34 licences in northwest Thailand, plans to invest 21bn baht in building 34 solar farms of 6MW each by 2013.
Established in 1984, SPC owns 60% of the first and largest solar farm in Southeast Asia.
The 6.1MW Korat 1, in the northeast Thai province of Nakorn Ratchasima, is a joint initiative between SPC, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and non-profit organisation Energy for Environment Foundation.
SPC’s reverse takeover of domestic steel-roofing producer Steel Intertech, listed on Thailand’s Market for Alternative Investments, should position the company, to be renamed SPCG, as the largest solar developer in Southeast Asia, Wandee says.
“The reason why SPC has merged with the listed Steel Intertech is that we needed a window to raise the funds to invest in the projects over the next two years,” Wandee tells Recharge.
The deal opens the possibility of the new merged company building solar farms for other companies across Southeast Asia, she adds.
SPC did not opt for an initial public offering because it takes too long to establish a listing in Thailand.
It plans to increase the proportion of its revenue from electricity generation to more than 50%, Wandee says. Steel Intertech would produce roof tiles and metal sheets for SPC’s plants, which will help keep construction costs down.
Last week, the company entered into a power-purchase agreement with the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA). The PEA had also proposed sharing an investment with SPC in pending solar projects.
Solar energy has bright prospects in Thailand because of the sunny climate and the government’s new power development plan, which seeks to boost consumption of electricity from renewable sources to 8% within 20 years from just 1% now.