ADB backs Thailand’s major IPP going green

As B. Grimm Power Public Company announced its plans to increase the share of renewables from the current 10% to 30% of its energy production portfolio, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) decided to underpin one of Thailand’s largest independent power producers by subscribing to 123 million of its shares worth THB 1.968 million ($57.7 million), released in an initial public on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). Moreover, ADB announced that it will administer a loan of up to $20 million for B.Grimm from the Canadian Climate Fund under ADB’s Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility.

Established in 1993 in Thailand, B.Grimm today operates a total capacity of 1,626 MW, including 12 gas-fired power plants, with an additional five in the pipeline, and 15 solar power plants deployed in recent years. As it seeks to boost the share of renewables in its portfolio, B.Grimm is planning investments at home and within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); a region that is facing a rapid rise in energy demand, which according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will grow more than 8% per year between 2009 and 2030.

ADB’s equity investment will be earmarked toward B. Grimm’s 114 MW solar projects and 16 MW wind power projects in Thailand as well as solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“The project will help support B. Grimm in diversifying its energy production and expand to other less-developed countries,” said Jackie Surtani, Director of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department. “In doing so, the project will help the ASEAN region in its transition to a low-carbon economy through the development of renewable energy.”

The administered loan from Canada will contribute to the diversification of ASEAN’s energy mix by adding renewable energy capacity, in particular, solar + storage, and will also help the company address various legal, technical, and regulatory challenges in some of the ASEAN countries.

As announced, ADB is also planning to provide at a later stage a corporate loan facility to B. Grimm to support its future expansion and development of gas-fired and renewable power projects in the ASEAN region.