SUNDAY, April 21, 2024

Banpu’s new CEO focuses on decarbonisation as part of growth strategy

Banpu’s new CEO focuses on decarbonisation as part of growth strategy

Thailand's leading energy solutions provider, Banpu, intends to integrate decarbonisation technologies into its overall energy business, newly appointed CEO Sinon Vongkusolkit said on Friday.

Sinon recently got the nod from Banpu's board of committees, and will take office on April 2.

Speaking at a press conference, Sinon, who succeeds outgoing CEO Somruedee Chaimongkol, emphasised the company's business direction towards greener and smarter operations, with a greater emphasis on integrating decarbonisation operations into its core business units: energy resources, energy generation, and energy technology.

Banpu would implement the Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage project in its gas and coal businesses, expand the battery farm model to other power plants, and collaborate with potential companies to develop battery, power storage technologies, and electronic vehicles as examples of its decarbonisation strategy, he said.

(from left) Somruedee Chaimongkol and Sinon Vongkusolkit

In addition to increasing the company's decarbonisation efficiency, he pledged to continue on Banpu's path towards renewable energy by increasing the proportion of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation to 50%, as well as expanding into its four potential markets — Indonesia, China, Australia, and the United States.

He revealed that plans are afoot to make existing businesses more efficient through the use of energy technology and increased use of artificial intelligence (AI) in operations across all business groups to boost profit margins in line with global sustainable economy trends.

As for this year's plan, he said Banpu had allocated US$700 million, of which roughly half would go towards improving green operations in the natural gas business. The remaining funds would be used to further develop the battery and renewable energy businesses, he said.

"Every investment strategy would be centred on increasing productivity and generating substantial future cash flow for the business," he said.

The new CEO unveiled his vision after the group achieved a net profit of $160 million, with earnings before interest, taxes, and depreciation of $1.562 billion.

Banpu’s new CEO focuses on decarbonisation as part of growth strategy

The achievement, according to current CEO Somruedee Chaimongkol, was a consequence of each entity's strong performance, which included the growth of the gas-fired power plants Temple I and II in the United States, the HPC power plant in Laos, the BLCP power plant in Thailand, and the Shanxi Lu Guang (SLG) power plant in China.

Meanwhile, Banpu reached its committed capacity of 870MW, and thanks to good irradiation and weather, all solar power plants in all operating countries performed well, she said.

Banpu’s new CEO focuses on decarbonisation as part of growth strategy

Furthermore, the company expanded its total smart energy solutions by increasing its customer base and forming new investment partnerships in the Battery and Energy Storage System Solutions business, thereby strengthening the entire battery value chain.

"This includes the investment in a large-scale battery farm with an energy storage capacity of 58MW in Tono in Iwate Prefecture, Japan; and the investment in SVOLT Energy Technology (Thailand) Co Ltd to collaboratively develop, produce, and distribute lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, as well as energy storage systems, battery recycling and other related services," she explained.

She also cited the expansion of Banpu's e-mobility business, which included alternative mobility services such as Mobility as a Service and EV Fleet Management to promote smart transportation covering a larger area, with 2,500 ride-sharing service points, 1,500 car-sharing stations, 300 EV-charging stations and 20 EV after-sales service centres.

Banpu’s new CEO focuses on decarbonisation as part of growth strategy

"Looking ahead to 2024, our focus remains on strengthening all three of our core business groups, as well as expanding the Banpu ecosystem's capacity for optimised operations. We are committed to leading the energy sector by delivering smarter energy for sustainability to meet future global energy demands," she said.

The new generation leader, with strong support from management teams across Banpu Group's core businesses and enabler units, would steer Banpu towards its goals, she said.