Thailand’s largest coal miner, Banpu Pcl, expects to turn around and make profit this year due to rising income from its power business and a recovery in global coal prices, Chief Executive Somruedee Chaimongkol said on Thursday.
Banpu is targeting a profit of $70 million from its two major power plants this year, Somruedee told reporters. The company had incurred a total net loss of 1.53 billion baht ($44.18 million) last year.
The miner, which has diversified into power and renewable energy to minimise the impact from a coal price rout, owns stakes in BLCP Power, a 1,434-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in eastern Rayong province, and a 1,800-MW Hongsa power plant in Laos.
Banpu’s net profit jumped nearly six fold to 98 million baht in the first half of the year, compared with the same period last year.
The company operates coal mines in Indonesia, Australia, and China, and owns interests in power plants in China and Japan.
Banpu expects its power generating capacity to rise to 2,000 MW by the end of the year, from it current capacity of 1,900 MW, mainly from solar farms in China, Somruedee said.
The company also said it signed agreements on Thursday with China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Techen Technologies (Thailand) to develop solar power in Thailand.
The move is part of Banpu’s drive to boost the proportion of its renewable power to be at least 20 percent of its target capacity of 4,300 MW by 2025, the company said in a statement.
Techen operates a solar cell factory in the eastern Chonburi province to serve the rising power demand in Thailand and the rest of Asia Pacific, the statement said.
($1 = 34.6300 baht)