Banpu gets $100 million investment for its U.S. gas business

Thai energy conglomerate Banpu Corporation has received a $100 million injection from Oaktree Capital Management to fuel its gas business operations in the U.S. and support its sustainable and green strategy.

Somruedee Chaimongkol, Chief Executive of Banpu, said the new capital would accelerate the company’s ambition to be a significant competitor in natural gas exploration and production and to expand its business in the U.S. Among the company’s long-term plans is to start a gas-to-power project in America.

Oaktree Capital made its investment by purchasing the preferred stocks of BKV Corporation. Banpu owns 96.3 percent of BKV. Oaktree, headquartered in Los Angeles, is one of the world’s largest credit investors. The company manages over $124 billion worth of assets and is invested in 73 of the largest pension plans in the U.S.

Founded as a coal company, Banpu is active in energy resources, energy production, and energy technology. Although the company is still involved in coal mining and coal power production, it has been rebalancing its portfolio towards greener solutions. It has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for five consecutive years.

The company has been increasing its clean energy enterprises in recent years. Banpu’s sustainable and greener ventures encompass renewable energy, energy storage systems, electrical vehicle development and car-sharing platform management.

Banpu estimates its clean energy resources and clean energy generation will account for 50 percent of earnings in five years, up from 20 percent today.

Its clean energy production is almost all from natural gas, which CEO Somreudee said is the cleanest of the fossil fuels.

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