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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        20  May 2011

Kasikorn Bank finances solar projects

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Kasikornbank is preparing to help the developer of Asean's largest solar power project raise 21 billion baht as the bank seeks to maintain its leadership in renewable energy financing, says Krisada Lamsam senior executive vice-president.

Solar Power Co holds 34 licences for a combined capacity of 206 megawatts in various provinces of Thailand and will be the largest solar farm operator in Southeast Asia when all of its projects are completed in 2013.

The bank has been appointed as mandated lead arranger for Solar Power Ltd.

Mr. Krisada said Kasikornbank would seek to arrange funding from several sources such as syndicated loans, joint ventures and through other types of financial instruments.

Interest rates would be based on fixed Thai baht rates for three to six months, currently around 2.7 percent to 3 percent, he said. The funding would be arranged with a 10-year term.

KBank recently financed three other solar power plants that will generate 18 megawatts and are worth around 3.1 billion baht, he said.

KBank, the country's third largest by total assets, ranks first in the industry in financial support to energy projects both original and alternative energy.

Its financial support, in terms of financial advisory and lead arranger services, represents a total of 150 billion baht or 91 percent of the segment's total estimated value of 161 billion baht.

He said the bank's credit lines for the energy sector stood at 60 billion baht or 11.5 percent of the industry's value, and its outstanding debt in this sector was 27 billion baht, accounting for 5 percent of the bank's total corporate loans.

Solar Power Co holds 34 licences for a combined capacity of 206 megawatts in various provinces under the government's very small power producer programme. It currently runs 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. SPC last month made a reverse takeover of MAI-listed Steel Intertech Plc, whose main business will change from steel roofing to solar farms.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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