Bangchak explores self-sustaining solar project

Corporate November 14, 2018 01:00

By   PHUWIT LIMVIPHUWAT
THE NATION

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BANGCHAK CORPORATION Plc plans to invest Bt77 billion to expand its businesses from 2019 to 2022 and provide a “greenovative experience” to its customers.



 “We plan to invest Bt77 billion by 2022, and aim to double the ‘earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation’ (EBITDA),” says Chaiwat Kovavisarach, president and CEO of Bangchak Corporation Plc. 

 In 2012, Bangchak gained an EBITDA at Bt7 billion. This increased significantly to Bt14 billion in 2017, and it has now set its EBITDA target at Bt30 billion by 2023, he says. 

 The Bt77 billion investment will be directed to expanding its gas refineries, biofuel production, hydropower and marketing, according to Chaiwat.

 “We are working to address the problem of climate change and will be investing in technology that is environmentally friendly. This year, up to 40 per cent of our revenue is generated from green energy, and we aim to push this figure to at least 50 per cent in the next four years,” he says. 

 To demonstrate its commitment to providing green energy, Bangchak has launched the “Bangchak Greenovative Experience” (GEM) project, an avenue that is entirely self-sustained by solar energy, which came into full operation at the end of September this year, Chaiwat added.

 The GEM project has various solar panel locations, sending electricity to lithium-ion batteries that store it at a capacity of 1 megawatt per hour. The battery then provides energy to all the restaurants, cafes and other retail services that have been established in the avenue. 

 This fully self-sustaining solar power avenue is the first of its kind in Thailand, says Chaiwat. Their lithium-ion battery is also currently the largest such battery in the country, and the company’s hope is that the project serves as a model for future development of avenues by Bangchak and other companies all over the country. 

 Bangchak is fully prepared to embrace new technologies that have been disrupting the Thai market, he says.

 Energy regulation within the GEM project utilises Artificial Intelligence (AI) that predicts the weather and informs the entire system when it calculates that insufficient energy is being harnessed from solar panels to meet needs, so that Bangchak can purchase electricity from outside the GEM system and prevent electricity outages. 

 When asked whether he is concerned about the falling oil prices, Chaiwat firmly stated that he believes it is only as a result of changes within the business cycle and that prices will soon stabilise. 

Meanwhile, the company has reported to the Stock Exchange of Thailand total revenue of Bt143.24 billion for the first nine months of this year, up 14 per cent from the same period of last year. 

Net profit was Bt4 billion, a 3.14 per cent drop from the same period of last year.