By KWANCHAI RUNGFAPAISARN
B GRIMM, one of Thailand’s oldest business conglomerates, yesterday announced its plan to spend Bt24 billion to replace its power plants in two industrial estates, Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate and Laem Chabang Industrial Estate in Chon Buri.
The group will list its subsidiary B Grimm Power on the Stock Exchange of Thailand by the end of this year, aiming to mobilise funds for future investment, mainly in power-plant and alternative-energy businesses.
The investment plan was set up after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) recently decided to renew the small power producer (SPP) concessions for another 25 years.
B Grimm currently operates two power plants in Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate with 360 megawatts in combined capacity. The group also has a power plant in Laem Chabang Industrial Estate with capacity of 120-160MW.
They have been supplying power to the Electricity Generating Authority of
Thailand as well as factories in the industrial estates. However, their current concessions will run out from 2019 to 2022.
“We support the decision by the ERC to renew the SPP concessions located at local industrial estates,” said B Grimm chairman Harald Link. “Such a decision will facilitate possible investment into the industrial sector.
“Individual investors who plan to set up factories at local industrial estates need to be assured that they will have a stable supply of electricity. The move will [encourage] foreign investors to … open factories in Thailand.”
He said that in addition to the replacement of existing power plants at Amata Nakorn and Laem Chabang industrial estates, B Grimm planned to invest in various power-plant projects, including at Bo Win in Chon Buri, Amata City Rayong, and Champasak in Laos.
B Grimm targets 21-per-cent growth in revenue to Bt41.9 billion this year, up from Bt34.7 billion posted in 2015. The group’s total assets increased from Bt49.9 billion in 2014 to Bt76.5 billion last year, and Bt86.8 billion is anticipated for this year.
The group achieved strong performance in all of its business groups in 2015, comprising energy, air-conditioning, healthcare, and transport, both in Thailand and overseas.
In the 138 years since its inception in 1878, B Grimm says it has followed what has come to be known as sufficiency-economy philosophy, with the aim of creating success, prosperity and happiness for business partners, alliances, and society as a whole. Accordingly, B Grimm’s business approach focuses on health, infrastructure, industrial and city development, religion, education, sports, environment and culture.
B Grimm’s fastest-growing business is energy. Currently, the company operates 12 co-generation power plants fuelled by natural gas.
“Our combined-cycle power plants provide extensive benefits of high stability and quality electricity to industries in Thailand with a total combined capacity of 1,170MW,” Link said.
In the renewable-energy sector, B Grimm has completed 16 solar-power farms with total generating capacity of 114MW.
The commercial operation date of three wind farms is 2020.
B Grimm Power says it will continue its expansion of renewable-energy power plants with the construction of its first hydroelectric power project in Laos next year.
B Grimm is targeting total installed capacity in excess of 2,158MW by 2019 and has plans to acquire concessions towards a total generating capacity of 5,000MW by 2019 by expanding into a number of Asian countries.