KASIKORNBANK has extended Bt3 billion in a syndicated loan to Laos’ state power enterprise to finance the enhancement of its electricity grid and expansion into the country’s rural areas, as well as power exports to adjacent countries.
The move marks KBank’s growing role in public-utility development in Thailand’s neighbouring countries, where there is vast room for improvement.
Senior executive vice president Patchara Samalapa said KBank was aware of the economic opportunities in Laos, where public-utility development is needed to serve its rapid expansion. Laos stands out as one of Asean’s major producers and exporters of electricity.
This makes the building of related infrastructure an important step towards the country’s power-industry advancement. Amid these developments, KBank says it has played a crucial role in providing financial advisory services and facilities to many Laotian power projects.
Recently, KBank and Kasikornthai Bank Ltd in Laos jointly offered Electricite du Laos (EDL) an US$85-million (Bt3 billion) syndicated loan, of which $77.5 million was granted by KBank and the remaining $7.5 million by the bank’s locally incorporated institution in Laos.
The seven-year loan facilities will be used to improve electricity-system infrastructure, such as electrical transmission cables and substation projects, and to expand power grids into rural areas.
According to Boun Oum Syvanhpheng, EDL managing director, the cooperation with KBank is in line with the state enterprise’s vision of sustainable power management that promotes extensive coverage of electricity utilisation and connectivity in an eco-friendly manner.
This financial support is truly beneficial for both Lao and Thailand in terms of power security, international investment and strengthened mutual ties, Boun said.
Patchara added that KBank was delighted to take part in the progress of Laos’ state power enterprise into a leading international entity for its sustainable growth.
Given the proficiency, experience and professionalism of the state enterprise’s management and staff, EDL’s project administration is expected to be undertaken smoothly and successfully, he said.
“This loan extension is part of KBank’s policy to participate in our neighbouring countries’ economic development, together with the bank’s support to Thai operators investing in Laos.”
As a state enterprise wholly owned by the Ministry of Energy and Mines, EDL has produced and distributed electricity for more than 57 years. It owns and manages assets related to power generation and transmission cables, electricity distribution to consumers, and the country’s power imports and exports.
In operating its power business, EDL says it promotes the nation’s economic and social development by supplying sufficient power throughout the country at a reasonable cost, while placing great significance on environmental and social responsibility.