Ratch looks to add 7,000MW in 10 years

SET-listed Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc (RATCH), Thailand's biggest private power producer, has set an ambitious target of raising power-generating capacity by 7,000 megawatts within a decade, according to newly appointed chief executive Kijja Sripatthangkura.

In one of his first acts as Ratch's new boss, Kijja Sripatthangkura more than doubled the company's target for additional generating capacity.

The plan to increase capacity by 7,000MW instead of the previous target of 3,000MW stems from a desire to secure definite revenue in the long term.

To achieve its goals, Ratch will budget up to 300 billion baht as part of its 10-year investment plan.

"We are mulling a plan to raise funds and invest in order to strengthen our fundamentals and expand business in a sustainable way," Mr Kijja said.

Apart from investing in increased capacity, Ratch also aims to increase capacity through mergers and acquisitions (M&A), mainly in overseas markets.

"The M&A plan will help cut short the construction period so that the company can book additional capacity and revenue more quickly, compared with investing in greenfield projects," Mr Kijja said.

Ratch is on track to complete its power purchasing agreement of 7,500MW this year and will continue to focus on major assets such as the Ratchaburi gas-fired power plant in Thailand and the Hongsa coal-fired power plant in Laos.

But Ratch will continue to develop co-generation power plants and renewable energy projects in order to gain more revenue and diversify risk at the same time, Mr Kijja said.

Projects that need to be completed within the next three years include six projects with a combined capacity of 537MW that are still under construction.

Ratch has booked total capacity of 6,980MW. Of the total, 4,949MW is from projects at home, while 2,031MW is from overseas activity.

Total power-generating capacity is due to rise to 7,115MW if the process to set up a joint venture with an Indonesian partner is completed on time this year.

Ratch this month finalised the venture to develop a gas-fired power plant on Sumatra.

The deal was done via Ratch's Singapore-based subsidiary, RH International Singapore, and PT Medco Power Indonesia.

The new company is called PT Medco Ratch Power Riau.

Total investment for the plant is worth US$300 million, 75% of which will come from loans and the rest from capital supplied by the two partners.

RATCH shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 50.25 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 118 million baht.

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