Saturday, December 8, 2007

Four groups win Thai electricity tender

By Wilawan Pongpitak

BANGKOK, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Four groups, including a joint venture between Glow Energy GLOW.BK and Hemaraj Land & Development HEMR.BK, offered the lowest bids for the right to produce 4,400 megawatts of power in Thailand, the Energy Ministry said on Friday.

The four beat 13 other groups, including Japan's Sumitomo Corp (8053.T: Quote, Profile, Research), Kansai Electric Power (9503.T: Quote, Profile, Research), Ratchaburi Electricity Generating RATC.BK, Thailand's largest power firm, and top oil refiner Thai Oil TOP.BK.

The winners, which will supply power between 2012 and 2014, were required to get government environmental clearance before September 2008.

Other bidders were non-listed Siam Energy, Power Generation Supply and National Power Supply, the statement said.

Gheco-one Co Ltd -- in which Glow Energy holds a majority 65 percent stake -- bid for a 660 MW coal-fired power plant in Thailand's eastern province of Rayong.

The remaining bids were National Power Supply's 540 MW coal-fired plant, a 1,600 MW natural gas plant by Siam Energy and a 1,600 gas plant of Power Generation Supply.

The tender is part of a 15-year power development plan ending in 2021 which calls for new capacity of 39,676 MW from natural gas, coal, nuclear power and dams in neighbouring countries.

Under the plan, Thailand needs the independent power producers (IPPs) to supply 12,600 MW during the 2011-2021 period.

The bidding, the first since 1994, attracted foreign investors eyeing Thailand's long-term demand for power and the government's lucrative power purchasing agreements.

About 50 bidders took part in the 1994 IPP licensing round and only seven were chosen, a Stanford University June report on IPPs showed.

Thai electricity demand was expected to rise an average 6.4 percent over the next 15 years and gross domestic product was forecast to grow at an average 5.0 percent a year, an Energy Ministry official said.

At 0926 GMT, Glow Energy shares were up 2.82 percent at a seven-week high of 36.25 baht and Hemaraj Land and Development shares were unchanged at 1.40 baht. ($1 = 33.72 Baht) (Writing by Ploy Chitsomboon; Editing by Michael Battye)

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