Thai firm to build 50-gigawatts energy storage facility

Thailand’s passion for innovation received a supercharge last week as local firm Energy Absolute announced it plans to build one of the largest energy storage facilities in the world.

Energy Absolute, a firm listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said the facility would require an investment exceeding $3 billion and be completed by 2021, but would also need joint-venture partners to fund completely. The 50-gigawatt plant will be situated at an industrial estate in Chachoengsao province, part of the Eastern Economic Corridor at 50-gigawatts.

The company is in talks with potential joint-venture partners for the project, although it said it is ready to invest the $120 million needed for the first phase. Among the firms conducting discussions with Energy Absolute are some of Thailand’s largest energy-producing firms, including PTT, according to Amorn Sapthaweekul, co-founder and deputy chief executive officer of Energy Absolute.

Those potential partners would all make use of the energy storage facility as part of their progression towards greater use of renewables and the transformation to a greener economy. Energy storage is a crucial component of the shift toward renewables, and one that Thailand needs to develop to meet its national goal of reducing greenhouse gasses by sourcing 25 percent of its power from renewables by 2036.

Energy Absolute is a company that illustrates how Thailand’s business sector is embracing innovation, creativity and advanced technologies, which are essential components of Thailand 4.0, the 20-year national strategy to drive the Kingdom’s economy and society to the next level of development.

Energy Absolute said intends to roll out an ecosystem to build demand for its storage business. The firm unveiled its own electric car, Mine, at this year’s Bangkok Motor Show.  The company is planning an initial production run of 5,000 of the battery-powered vehicles.

Energy Absolute said it is also planning to build 1,000 charging stations across the country, which should help encourage consumers to make the leap to electric vehicles.

“Our strategy is to secure the best locations before the competition comes, which is why we are moving so rapidly. We believe adoption of electric vehicles will happen much more quickly than predicted,” Amorn said.