Jan 12, 2013

SPCG to give Myanmar solar power

SPCG, a solar farm developer, plans to operate small renewable solar farms to serve demand for electricity in Myanmar's rural communities.

Chairwoman Wandee Khunchornyakong said the solar farms and energy plants would have a capacity of less than 2 megawatts.

The project will operate without connection to the main electricity grid and serve rural communities. Each plant will cost 7-14 million baht.

"Electricity supply in Myanmar is falling short of demand that has grown rapidly. The country's capacity of electricity production is only 2,500 MW for a population of 55 million, compared with 32,000 MW to serve Thailand," Ms Wandee said.

Myanmar lacks small solar plants to serve rural communities. Investors from large economies such as China, India and Japan are keen to develop big projects.

SPCG saw an opportunity to develop small plants to provide power in the short term.

"Most Myanmar people use diesel oil generators to generate electricity for households. The cost of an oil generator is twice that of a solar farm. The market has a huge potential to grow," Ms Wandee said.

SPCG is expected to develop a mixture of renewable energy projects, such as solar farms with mini-hydropower plants, to take advantage of Myanmar's vast water resources. Wind power is also a possibility.

SPCG has eyed two potential locations, with the first project likely to be in Mandalay or Yangon.

Ms Wandee said the company has secured prospective partners in Myanmar already, with a plan to set up a joint-venture company in the second half of this year. Construction will start in 2014.

Shareholders are negotiating with the prospective partners.

SPCG is Asia's largest solar farm developer. In the fourth quarter of last year, it founded a joint-venture company with a Japanese partner and a Saudi Arabian business to bid for a solar plant construction project in Saudi Arabia. The result is expected soon.

The company expects revenue growth of more than 50%, or above 1.5 billion baht, this year as it will be able to book revenue from construction of 28 plants, compared with revenue from nine plants booked last year.

As of the third quarter last year, SPCG reported a net profit of 47.86 million baht from revenue of about 700 million baht. Revenue for the whole year was expected to reach 1 billion baht.

SPCG shares closed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday at 19.10 baht, down 40 satang, in trade worth 244.63 million baht.

Source: Bangkok Post


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