Thailand’s BCPG Plans US$300m Expansion

Rapidly expanding Thai renewable energy developer BCPG said it will spend 10 billion baht (US$311 million) in further expanding its portfolio abroad via new partnerships and acquisitions.

Only established in 2015, BCPG is now looking to invest in Australia, South Korea and Japan as well as neighbouring Southeast Asian economies.

In statements to media on May 9, CEO Bundit Sapianchai said the company intends to expand its generating capacity above 700 MW – a target it expects to reach by the end of this year as it brings new wind, solar and geothermal projects online in Thailand, Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, he said. The company currently operates around 600 MW across its portfolio.

These facilities include shares in three geothermal plants in Indonesia, in which BCPG invested US$357 million in May last year via the acquisition of a 33% stake in Singapore-listed Star Energy Group Holding (SEGH).

BCPG is a subsidiary of Thailand’s state-owned Bangchak Petroleum oil refining company. Its longer term aims are to build a portfolio of clean energy assets spanning some 1,000 MW by 2020.

Bundit said his company anticipates concluding several new wind and solar deals in its target countries in the near future, although provided no details.

In Thailand, BCPG is nearing completion of an expanded rooftop solar programme with Bangkok property developer Sansiri. Spread across a community of houses, the project has been expanded from5-10 MW to a total of 30 MW.

Rooftop solar is set to expand considerably in Thailand after the government last September said it would end a 10-year ban on surplus electricity generated being sold into the grid, NewsBase Intelligence (NBI) reported at the time.

Rooftop power sale terms involving the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) have still to be finalised.

BCPG’s decision to look abroad for most of its new investments follows the Thai government’s announcement in March that it would not support new domestic renewable plants with power purchase agreements (PPAs) for at least the next five years, blaming over-generous feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for an increase in consumer electricity prices.

However, the situation remains confused. The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) this week sought clarification from Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan over a swathe of new projects now suspended by developers due to uncertainty over the tariffs and prices they may receive.

Quoted by The Nation newspaper, FTI chairman Suphan Mongkolsuthree said: “The cessation of electricity purchases has affected operators that made investors in line with a government policy for it to make purchases of electricity from renewable sources in the order of 16,778 megawatts. The postponement will lead to problems.”

Following a meeting with energy ministers this week, the FTI is expected to prepare a response on May 10.