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Ratch plans capacity boost

Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc (Ratch) has budgeted US$5 billion (166 billion baht) to expand power generation to 10,000 megawatts from 7,500MW over the next five years.

Chief executive Kijja Sripattangkura said yesterday that Ratch, Thailand's biggest private power producer, expects to add 2,500MW to committed power purchase agreement (PPA) capacity over the next few years.

Of the total current capacity of 7,500MW, some 6,500MW is already running and the rest will come from projects under construction.

Of the total investment of 166 billion baht, 50 billion will come from equity investment and the rest from loans.

Mr Kijja said plans to expand capacity are unlikely to have a detrimental impact on registered capital, since the capital expenditure will come from accumulated net profit, cash on hand and loan availability.

He said Ratch has planned several investment initiatives, ranging from greenfield projects to mergers and acquisitions, that will help generate 1,002MW of additional capacity.

The new 1,002MW will include domestic and overseas projects, including solar farms, coal-fired plants and gas-fired plants.

Ratch also announced a new portfolio investment focused on a plan to raise overseas revenue to 40% by 2023 from 29% this year.

Mr Kijja said the domestic market has been saturated for several years amid intensified competition, pushing the company to seek opportunities abroad.

Ratch plans to diversify into new sectors such as energy storage and electric vehicles.

Ratch posted revenue of 23.12 billion baht in the first half of the year, down 15% year-on-year, due to falling prices of natural gas.

But the company posted a net profit of 3.56 billion baht, up 51%, on higher availability from the Hongsa Lignite power plant in Laos.

Ratch also reported in the first half of 2017 on several new projects, including the Pink and Yellow lines of the monorail, the gas-fired combined-cycle Riau power plant in Indonesia and the Collinsville Solar PV project in Australia, with a combined equity capacity of 360MW.

RATCH shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 54.25 baht, up one baht, in trade worth 97.7 million baht.

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