Thai power firm BCPG investing in two plants in the U.S.

Thai clean energy firm BCPG said last week that it will invest in a joint venture to purchase and operate two gas-fired power plants in the midwestern state of Ohio that provide over 1,800 megawatts of energy to the local market.

The investment represents Thai businesses sustained interest in tapping into the American market in various sectors, including energy. Since the turn of the century, more Thai conglomerates and companies have been striking out beyond the Kingdom’s borders, expanding overseas and venturing further afield than the immediate region of East Asia.

They include groups such as Central Corporation, which has acquired hotels and department stores in Europe, and Thai Union, a major seafood firm that owns a majority stake in Red Lobster restaurants in the U.S.

BCPG is the clean energy subsidiary of Bangchak Corporation. Executives said that they will invest over $112 million in the 700-megawatt Carroll County Energy and 1,182-megawatt South Field Energy. The joint-venture partner is Advance Power, a local energy developer and manager of independent power generation projects.

Both plants produce natural gas. While still a fossil fuel, natural gas is regarded as the cleanest energy type in that category. The company also invests in and operates renewable-energy power plants such as solar, wind, hydro and smart energy facilities. It has built and runs the largest wind energy farm in Southeast Asia.

Niwat Adirek, President and Chief Executive of BCPG, said that the two Ohio plants employ combined cycle gas turbine technology, which he said is environmentally friendly, and could serve energy needs for grid operator PJM around the clock.

PJM is the largest regional transmission organization, Niwat added, coordinating the movement of wholesale electricity in 13 states. Working with Advanced Power gives BCPG a “foot in the door” to acquire more energy projects in the U.S.

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