ADB and B.Grimm issue Thailand’s first green bonds
The push for green energy by Thailand’s private sector received an infusion of greenbacks last week when the Asian Development Bank (ADB) bought $152 million worth of green or climate bonds issued by B.Grimm Power Pcl., the first such private-sector climate bonds ever issued in the Kingdom.
The purchase value meant that the ADB subscribed to the entire bond issue. B.Grimm intends to use the funds from the bonds, which have maturities of five and seven years, to help build renewable power projects. B.Grimm is a multinational corporation founded in Bangkok in 1878 and has subsidiaries in healthcare, energy, building, and industrial systems, real estate, e-commerce, and transport.
The issuance of green or climate bonds is an important development for Thailand. Aside from serving the Kingdom’s national goal of developing more renewable sources of energy, the issue is also groundbreaking as far as advancing Thailand’s financial markets and services.
“This issuance will foster the development of the green bond market in Thailand by showcasing international best practice for genuine green and climate bonds,” said Preeyanart Soontornwata, President of B.Grimm Power, which was established in 1993.
“ADB’s support was invaluable to ensure the bonds comply with the International Capital Markets Association Green Bond Principles and Climate Bond Initiative standards, building on a long-standing relationship we have forged through multiple transactions,” she added.
The purchase of the green bonds was ADB’s third transaction with B.Grimm. In 2017, ADB subscribed to its initial public offering. Earlier in 2018, the bank signed a loan agreement with the company to support its expansion into renewable and distributed power generation markets throughout Southeast Asia.
“This green bond will help Thailand achieve its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an unconditional 20 percent by 2030,” said Michael Barrow, Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department. “B.Grimm is a pioneer of renewable energy and low-carbon growth in Thailand and increasingly across the region, and ADB is honored to be its long-term partner in this effort.”
The projects B.Grimm intends to build or expand with the proceeds from the bonds are nine solar power plants already up and running with a total capacity of 67.7 megawatts (MW) and seven solar plants under construction with a total capacity of 30.8 MW. Although B.Grimm does business in many countries across the region, all the power plants are in Thailand.
B.Grimm also owns and operates 15 gas-fired power plants in Thailand generating 2,045 MW of power, making it one of the largest power producers in the Kingdom.