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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        4  February 2011

Thai firm plans wind energy project

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Glow Energy Plc, a unit of France-based GDF Suez listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, is ready to spend US$300 million to develop two wind turbine projects in Chaiyaphum generating a combined 100 megawatts.

The independent power producer (IPP) has been securing hundreds of rai in the northeastern province while it is in talks with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) for transmission lines to the potential sites.

The two potential locations will house one project of 60 MW and another of 40 MW, said Natthapatt Tanboon-ek, Glow's vice-president for finance and investor relations. "If Egat agrees to put up transmission lines to the sites, we're ready to embark on these wind energy projects in 2011 and 2013," he said.

GDF Suez, the world's largest IPP, has strong expertise in wind energy, operating several projects in Europe, said Mr. Natthapatt.

Glow, 69 percent-owned by the French company, is also spending 300 million baht to develop a 1.5-MW pilot solar project in Rayong province as part of the Energy Ministry's very small power producer programme.

"If this project proves successful, we might consider bigger ones, but the parent company does not have expertise in solar energy," said Mr. Natthapatt.

As well, Glow has joined Egat's new round of bidding for small power producers, proposing three new projects near its existing site in Rayong's Map Ta Phut area.

Successful bidders have already been announced for the first lot of 2,000 MW, and more will be selected for another 1,500 MW.

Of the three projects, two are for 90 MW each and the other for 70 MW. Each will cost between US$100 million and $150 million.

Last year, Glow achieved revenue of 37.9 billion baht, up by 6.6 percent from 2009 as electricity sales to Egat under its IPP scheme rose by 3.5 percent to 11.7 billion on higher availability and dispatch.

Glow's net profit increased by 36.4 percent to 5.7 billion baht with a net foreign-exchange gain of 1.65 billion.

However, in the fourth quarter, sales slid by 1.9 percent year-on-year to 8.79 billion baht for a net profit of only 1.02 billion, down by 9.7 percent year-on-year and 45 percent quarter-on-quarter.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

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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