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Thai firm gets $28M loan for Cambodia solar plant

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Cambodia plans to add 495MW of solar power capacity from seven projects by 2023, which will represent ‘20 per cent’ of the total energy supply by then, according to the energy ministry. Heng Chivoan

Thai firm gets $28M loan for Cambodia solar plant

Bangkok-based B Grimm Power Plc (BGRIM) has received a $28.1 million syndicated loan from top financiers to undergird its solar energy project in northwestern Cambodia, according to Thai media.

In November 2019, BGRIM entered into a share purchase agreement with Pramote Laocharoenwong, who is not connected with the company, to acquire all shares of Cambodia’s Ray Power Supply Co Ltd (RPS) for a total value of $300,000.

Under a 15-year deal penned on October 28, top Thai lenders Kasikornbank (KBank), Export-Import Bank of Thailand (Exim Thailand) and Bangkok Bank have made the funds available to RPS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of B Grimm Solar Power 1 Co Ltd, the Bangkok Post reported.

RPS runs a 39MW solar photovoltaic plant in Banteay Meanchey province, which went online in December.

BGRIM chairman and president Harald Link was quoted by Bangkok Post as saying: “The loan is a vote of confidence by top Thai financial institutions in BGRIM at a time when fundraisings in general are significantly hampered by the effects of Covid-19.

“RPS’ ground-mounted solar power facility is considered a success for being completed on schedule amid many restrictions, including the pandemic’s effects and severe floods in the construction area throughout 2020.”

The solar farm began feeding Electricite du Cambodge’s (EdC) grid on December 15 under a 20-year contract, the daily said, adding that RPS is the first solar energy generation station in Cambodia to receive a firm power supply guarantee from the government.

KBank executive vice-president Tipakorn Saiphatana said the loan is in line with the bank’s policy to encourage investment for sustainability and support customers’ transition to a net-zero emissions future.

“KBank believes that the project will play an important role in contributing to the development of highly efficient and reliable electricity services and utilities, which is an important foundation for Cambodia’s economic growth,” Tipakorn was quoted as saying.

Exim Thailand president Rak Vorrakitpokatorn said the solar farm is well-suited for the bank’s campaign to prop up international investments of Thai ventures.

Niraman Laisatit, senior executive vice-president in charge of corporate banking at Bangkok Bank, underlined that the bank has supported BGRIM for more than 26 years in the development of a range of domestic and international projects, starting with Amata B Grimm Power 1 Co Ltd in 1995.

BGRIM’s Link emphasised that the RPS project is pursuant to shifting energy demand practices, the Bangkok Post said.

Cambodia aims to add 495MW of solar power capacity from seven projects by 2023, which will represent “20 per cent” of the total energy supply by then, according to the Ministry of Mines and Energy.


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