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New Management at Ratchaburi Eyes JVs and Myanmar Market


RATCHABURI Electricity Generating Holding under its new president will adjust its business strategies to boost growth, teaming up with others in the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) group and tapping the Myanmar market.

According to Ratch president Phongdit Photchana, who was appointed in July, company executives will brainstorm next month to formulate strategic plans and set a more challenging course.

Ratch will continue to focus on both primary-fuel and renewable projects but will create a balance between new projects and the acquisition of businesses to ensure sustainable growth and a healthy financial status. It will also set a target to invest more overseas, with the focus on neighbouring countries that can produce electricity for Thailand to ensure a stable energy supply and reasonable electricity prices.

Also, the company foresees investment opportunities in related businesses such as transmission systems and training services for operation and maintenance that could generate steady income for the company.

Ratch has operated power plants since 2000, with an initial generation capacity of only 1,900 megawatts. Currently its capacity (as per shareholding ratio) is 5,312MW, a threefold increase.

Its assets have increased from Bt36.95 billion in 2000 to about Bt95.67 billion this year. The combination of all projects currently in the pipeline until 2018 would yield total generation capacity of 6,302.52MW (domestic 4,586.5MW, Laos 1,206.5MW and Australia 509.52MW).

New projects in development are two wind-power projects in Australia with combined capacity of 420MW; a 20MW solar-power project in Australia; and three solar projects in Asia with combined capacity of 45MW.

Ratch’s initial target, to raise its total generation capacity to 7,800MW by 2016, may be revised to 12,000MW by 2020. It will be a challenge for company executives to propose at their September brainstorming session how achieve the additional 6,000MW capacity. But if it were possible, it would ensure the company’s continuing growth and fulfil the shareholders’ hopes, Phongdit said. The company will also create synergy with its major shareholder Egat and the latter’s group to expand the business base to Myanmar. Egat is currently negotiating with Myanmar’s government on a plan to develop government-to-government power plants, including a hydropower project on the upper Salawin River.

If the negotiation is successful, Egat will have its subsidiaries, including Ratch, jointly own shares and develop the projects together.

Furthermore, Ratch aims to invest in coal-fuelled power plants and coal mines in Indonesia in collaboration with Banpu, which is its business partner in the Hongsa power-plant project in Laos.

Japan is another investment target for Ratch’s expansion as there are opportunities to acquire and develop alternative-energy projects, especially solar power, which offers a good return on investment.

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