Univanich Palm Oil Plc, a leading crude palm-oil producer, will invest more than 600 million baht to build three very small power plants (VSPPs) fuelled by biogas in Krabi over the next couple of years.
Managing director John Harvey Clendon said two of the plants would have a generating capacity of 950 kilowatts each and the third plant would generate two megawatts.
''We're now working on the layout and foundation of our first power plant, which will require a 100-million-baht budget from this financial year,'' he said.
The company will then spend 222 million baht to complete the first phase and start the second plant next year. The third power plant will be developed in 2008 with the investment of 308 million baht.
The three power plants will use biogas produced from waste water from the palm-oil production. The electricity generated from the three plants will feed the company and the rest sold to the Electricity Generating Authority (Egat) at around three baht per unit.
''The incentives for VSPP investments are very attractive. Moreover, we had researched the potential of this kind of projects for a few years, so we could move quickly when the government announced this scheme,'' Mr Clendon said.
He noted that the company was also interested in developing another power plant using biomass, which would be fuelled by oil-palm leftovers in 2009.
For the palm-oil production, Univanich plans this year to export 100,000 tonnes of crude palm oil, or 30% of total output, to Europe and Asia, particularly India.
''When we export palm oil, we're worried about the stronger baht but its impact will be very minimal as selling prices in the global market have been rising for two months and will continue to increase until next year,'' Mr Clendon said.
Shares of Univanich (UVAN) closed yesterday at 37.75 baht, down 50 satang, in trade worth 1.35 million baht.
Source: Bangkok Post. Thursday December 14, 2006