Banpu Public Company Limited, a leading international versatile energy provider, has successfully acquired two operating solar farms in New South Wales, Australia including Beryl Solar Farm (BSF) with a capacity of 110.9 MWdc and Manildra Solar Farm (MSF) with a capacity of 55.9 MWdc through Banpu Energy Hold Trust established by Banpu Energy Australia Pty Ltd., a subsidiary, in which the Company holds 100% of shares, and Banpu Renewable Australia Pty Ltd., a subsidiary of Banpu NEXT Co. Ltd, in which the Company holds 50% of shares. The solar farms are Banpu's first two utility-scale renewable generation assets in Australia. It is an important step in laying the foundation in terms of strategic investments in clean energy and expanding Banpu's energy ecosystem in Australia, in line with the company's Greener & Smarter strategy. This enables the Company to achieve the power generation capacity of 6,100 MW by 2025.
Mrs. Somruedee Chaimongkol, Chief Executive Officer of Banpu Public Company Limited, said “Banpu continues to invest in versatile energy businesses throughout the supply chain under the Greener & Smarter strategy. For our latest achievement, we have acquired two operating solar farms in Australia from New Energy Solar Limited with the purchase consideration of AUD 97.5 million which is equivalent to THB 2,332 million. This investment is in line with our investment strategy that focuses on the projects that can immediately generate cash flows. In addition, it is another important step for Banpu in expanding our clean energy portfolio and business ecosystem in Australia, in which we have had a strong upstream business for a long time. As a result, we have specialized human resources capabilities, a strong relationship with the local government, and an extensive business network of suppliers and partners.”
These two solar farms have total power generation capacity of 166.8 MWdc, i.e., 110.9 MWdc from BSF, achieving its Commercial Operation Date (COD) since June 2019, and 55.9 MWdc from MSF, achieving its COD since December 2018. Both solar farms use technology from Tier-1 solar panel manufacturers, as well as having a single axis tracking system, resulting in a strong annual capacity factor. The two solar farms are located in an area with stable marginal loss factors (MLF) due to excellent available infrastructure which results in a quality revenue stream for the Company. Additionally, New South Wales has a growing demand in electricity consumption. The two solar farms supply electricity through the National Electricity Market (NEM) under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Investment Grade Off-takers, resulting in a strong financial position with a consistent long-term cash flow outlook. In addition, the New South Wales Government has policies and plans to support electricity generation from renewable energy including wind and solar which represented equivalent to 14% of Australia's NEM generation mix in 2020, and is expected to continue to grow.
Banpu Energy Australia Pty Ltd. (Banpu Energy Australia) was recently established to drive Banpu’s Greener & Smarter strategy in Australia, a strategically important country for Banpu. Banpu Energy Australia is building an integrated, innovative and sustainable business in Australia and focuses on decarbonization projects, energy solutions and portfolio management. Banpu Energy Australia will be the operator for the Beryl and Manildra solar farms.
“As well as laying the foundation for investment in clean energy business in Australia, these acquisitions enable us to participate in Australian wholesale electricity markets which have advanced trading systems and mechanisms. We are continuously expanding our investment portfolio in Australia in line with our Greener & Smarter strategy through acquisitions that generate immediate revenues; through the development of decarbonization projects on land associated with underground coal mines which Banpu has operated since 2009; or through the development of its energy technology business in the years to come. We focus on synergistic growth to fortify the business ecosystem of the Banpu group,” added Mrs. Somruedee.
BANPU is aiming to achieve its target of a power generation capacity of 6,100 MW by 2025 by seeking investment opportunities in assets operating with eco-friendly technology in markets with growing demand of energy consumption and supportive government policies. With the addition of these two new solar farms, Banpu’s total committed capacity of renewable business is now at 1,073 MW.