Thai state-backed Ratch Group teams up with Vietnamese conglomerate Geleximco in energy projects

16, Jul. 2020

Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash
Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash

BANGKOK, NNA - Thailand’s state-backed energy producer Ratch Group Public Co. has joined hands with Vietnamese industrial conglomerate Geleximco Group Joint Stock Co. in Vietnam’s power sector, further expanding power projects in Southeast Asia.

RH International (Singapore) Corp., Ratch’s wholly owned subsidiary, will acquire a 49 percent stake for $78.5 million in An Binh Energy and Infrastructure Fund (ABEIF), an energy and infrastructure investment fund in Vietnam, the Thai group said in a statement Wednesday.

The two partners have agreed that Geleximco will hold 51 percent in the fund, which was established in 2017 focusing on power, infrastructure and real estate business, the statement said.

The alliance is “Ratch’s first significant investment in Vietnam with a strong local partner in line with its long-term growth strategy in the Southeast Asia region,” said Ratch in a filing with the Stock Exchange of Thailand on the same day.

ABEIF’s current portfolio stands at a total output capacity of 2.62 million kilowatts, comprising the coal-fired Thang Long power plant in operation with a 620,000-kw output capacity in northern Vietnam, another 650,000-kw coal-fired power plant also in northern Vietnam, a 1.2 million-kw coal-fired power station in central Vietnam and a 150,000-kw hydroelectric power plant in northern Vietnam, both in early stages of development, according to the statement.

“ABEIF will potentially drive the company’s investment in energy and infrastructure serving its growth effectively,” Ratch Group CEO Kijja Sripathangkura said in the statement.

The Thai group is betting on Vietnam’s high economic growth along with the Vietnamese government’s push for developing power generation capacity to 130 million kw within 2030, up from the current 54 million kw, Kijja said.

Ratch Group announced in May this year it would invest $45 million to indirectly get a 51 percent stake in the onshore Thanh Phong Wind Power Plant project of 29,700 kw in the south of Ho Chi Minh City, marking its debut in Vietnam.

The wind power farm, which is scheduled to begin commercial operation in September 2021, will supply electricity to state-backed Vietnam Electricity in 20 years, according to Ratch’s filing with the local bourse on May 25.

Ratch Group is a major power producer in Thailand and owned 45 percent by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand. As of last month, the company holds a total installed capacity of over 8.7 million kw, about 7.2 million kw of which is in operation.