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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                   19  September 2011

Thai company goes green

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Loxley Plc, one of Thailand's biggest trading conglomerates, is spending about 4 billion baht (US$124.7million) on its five-year renewable energy plan ending in 2014.

Loxley began refocusing on renewable energy in 2010, setting an ambitious goal to raise its revenue from green business to 20 percent of an estimated 30 billion baht in 2016 from almost 0 percent of the 10 billion expected this year.

"The new sector will be a coming boom business with sustainable growth in Thailand due to full support from the government," said Loxley president Dhongchai Lamsam.

Plans call for 2 billion baht to be budgeted for solar power development. An 8.67-megawatt facility on a 215-rai site in Prachin Buri province is being built at a cost of 1 billion baht, with operations scheduled to begin in November.

The solar power venture is being managed by L Solar, which was founded last year with registered capital of 220 million baht.

Loxley holds a 45 percent stake in L Solar. MFC Asset Management holds 24.9 percent via its energy fund, and a private investor who is a Loxley executive holds 14 percent. Leonics, a leading Thai supplier of solar cells, owns the remaining 16.1 percent.

According to Mr. Dhongchai, Loxley is looking for a new solar-farm venture and is ready to apply for new licences once the Energy Ministry opens a round of bidding.

The new venture is estimated at 1 billion baht, with the details of the shareholding structure yet to be considered.

"We are choosing appropriate partners in this project; they could be both local and foreign," said Mr Dhongchai, who added that the company had been approached by several investors for the development of a wind turbine project.

Loxley also plans to invest another one billion baht in developing biofuel from algae. A memorandum of understanding for the project was signed in March with Bangchak Petroleum Plc and Thailand's largest private power producer, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc.

An algae plantation farm will be built next year and commercial production could come online in 2013 with about 30,000 litres per day.

Another one billion baht will go to biogas production from community waste. The company is talking with Switzerland-based Compo Gas about a strategic partnership. A decision will be announced by the end of the year.



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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.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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