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Thai power firm plans $2.4bn investment


September 25, 2008

Thai power firm plans $2.4bn investment
Thailand's Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc said on Wednesday it planned to invest at least 80 billion baht ($2.4 billion) over the next 10 years and more than double capacity, reported Reuters.

Ratchaburi, the country's largest private power producer, has a generating capacity of 4,347 megawatts, accounting for about 14 percent of Thailand's total.

It aimed to raise that to 8,800 megawatts by 2016, managing director Narong Sitasuwan told reporters.

"We should spend at least 80 billion baht starting from 2009 to invest in new power plant projects, mostly in foreign countries," Narong said, adding this would be funded from cash.

Like other private power producers, Ratchaburi is looking for opportunities to invest in Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia, he said.

It holds 25 percent stakes in two hydropower dams in Laos -- Nam Nguem 2 and Nam Nguem 3 -- and owns a 40 percent stake in the 1,653 MW Hong Sa lignite power plant in Laos.
The state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), the country's sole power buyer, owns 45 percent of Ratchaburi and top coal miner Banpu has a 15 percent stake.

The utility maintained its earlier forecast that earnings in the second half of 2008 would be better than the 2.97 billion baht earned in the first half as there would be no major plant shutdowns, and it still expected full-year net profit growth of at least 10 percent, Narong said.

Net profit for 2009 was expected to be higher than this year because the company would have a full year of revenue from its new Ratchaburi Power plant, which began running at full capacity in June, he said.

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