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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           12   August  2011

Thailand's largest private power adds capacity

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Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc (RATCH), the country's largest private power producer, says it is confident it can add electricity capacity of 1,180 megawatts over the next five years.

The company's long-term plan from 2005-16 calls for capacity to expand from 5,154 MW to 7,800 MW. To date it has met 55 percent of the planned increase and now has 6,620 MW.

"We plan to expand our capacity not only through mergers and acquisitions but also by building new plants across Asia-Pacific," said CEO Noppol Milinthanggoon.

Ratchaburi has ample financial resources including cash on hand of 7 billion baht (US$233.5 million), short-term loans and funds raised from debentures totaling 16 billion, and accumulated net profit of 30 billion baht.

"Our debt-to-equity ratio is only 0.12 times which means we have more room to raise funds or borrow in the future," said Mr Noppol.

Additional capacity in recent years has come from Laos, Australia and Thailand. Through EDL Generation in Laos, wholly owned subsidiary Ratchaburi Lao Service has a total of 1,000 megawatts: 751 MW from the Hongsa lignite power plant, 40 MW from the Nam Bak hydropower plant, 110 MW from Nam Ngum 3 and 98 MW from Xe Pien, as well as hydropower plants.

Another 268 MW is from Ratchaburi Australia Corporation, in which Ratchaburi owns 57 percent and will increase its holding to 80 percent by June next year.

The Australian power market has strong potential for both fossil fuels and renewable energy. The Canberra government aims to raise the use of renewable energy to 20 percent from 4 percent of total needs at present, said Mr. Noppol.

At home, Ratchaburi will expand through small power producer and renewable energy ventures. It has added 199 MW from solar, wind farm and small power plants in the past few years.

Ratchaburi reported second-quarter revenue dropped by 5.5 percent year-on-year to 11.82 billion baht but net profit rose 23.7 percent to 1.89 billion. First-half revenue fell 11.2 percent to 20.29 billion baht but consolidated net profit rose to 3.09 billion (2.13 baht a share), from 2.99 billion (2.06 baht a share) in the same period last 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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