Thailand’s Gulf Energy set to invest $4.6bn in Southeast Asian power after IPO

Thailand‘s Gulf Energy is set to invest heavily in Southeast Asia’s power sector after raising THB24bn ($733m) in an IPO last week.

The company, which is Thailand’s third-largest energy firm, is reportedly looking into investing THB150bn in power capacity in Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam as well as in its home market. à‚ 

The investments will be funded through a combination of the proceeds from the IPO and loans.

According to Gulf Energy’s CEO, Sarath Ratanavadi (pictured), the firm plans to invest largely in gas-fired power capacity and its activities are likely to include acquiring operational plants as well as greenfield projects.

Sarath was quoted as saying that his firm would likely stick to gas power because it offers both a lower risk profile than coal-fired power, which is facing stricter regulation in Asia due to environmental concerns, and higher returns than renewable power projects.

Gulf Energy also plans to raise its share in an existing joint development venture with Japan’s Mitsui & Co. The companies are developing two gas-fired power plants with a total capacity of 5300 MW, and Gulf Energy will now up its stake in the venture from 51 per cent to 70 per cent.

The company boasts an installed capacity of 4.7 GW of largely gas-fired capacity, and aims to add an additional 6.3 GW by 2024.

Last Wednesday’s IPO was Thailand’s largest since 2006.à‚ 

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