June 10, 2015 / 4:34 AM / 5 years ago

Thai Chow Steel to invest $43 mln in Philippine solar power plants

BANGKOK, June 10 (Reuters) - Thailand’s Chow Steel Industries PCL said one of its units would invest 1.5 billion baht ($43 million) in 25-megawatt solar power plants in the Philippines as part of its foreign expansion to mitigate risk at home.

This is the company’s second investment abroad after it invested in solar power plants in Japan, the steel billet maker said in a statement on Wednesday.

“This is a good business opportunity with support from the government and financial institutions,” Chief Executive Anavin Jiratomsiri said.

Chow Steel has diversified into solar power business after posting a decline in sales revenue and weak steel prices.

The company is also keen to invest in another renewable energy project in the Philippines, along with expansion in Japan where it has already invested in 18-MW solar projects, Chow Steel said.

Chow Steel has assigned Premier Solution Philippines Co Ltd, indirectly owned via its 76.67 percent-owned unit Chow Energy, to develop the solar power plants. The company said it had received permission from Philippine authorities to sell power for 25 years.

Construction of the plants is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016, the Thai firm said.

In Japan, the company has completed construction of Oita Usa 1 and 2 solar power plants and they are ready for commercial operations on June 5, it said.

The company will begin to realise additional revenue from the two solar projects with combined capacity of 7.9294 MW, and the rest is expected to begin operations later this year, the statement said. ($1 = 33.8729 baht) (Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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