Alternative power: solar and wind ventures drive Energy Absolute’s regional expansion
Energy Absolute hopes its solar, wind and biodiesel operations can generate new business across Asia
Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports www.discoveryreports.com
Under the Thai government’s Alternative Energy Development Plan, the country is steadily making inroads into initiatives to promote alternative energy usage.
With Thailand’s target of achieving 30 per cent alternative energy consumption in the coming years, Energy Absolute is rising to the challenge of providing energy security through its biodiesel, solar and wind power generation expertise. The company has a strong interest in energy storage – seen to make a big leap in a few years – which will enhance the productivity of renewable power plants and will be used extensively in electrical cars.
A key exponent of clean energy, Energy Absolute is bullish that it can better cater to the Asean region’s power needs with the unveiling of its solar plant in Phitsanulok and wind farm in Nakhon Si Thammarat. The company’s growth in 2016 is driven by its solar and wind businesses.
The addition of the Phitsanulok solar plant to the company’s three existing plants increases Energy Absolute’s capacity to 278 MW. On the other hand, each of the 70 wind turbines in Nakhon Si Thammarat that stands 137 metres tall – the tallest in Thailand – will generate 1.8 MW.
“We want to play a bigger role in the energy sector and become one of the major players in the region,” says Somphote Ahunai, director and CEO.
“We leverage what we learn from our projects to help us explore opportunities outside Thailand.”
Under its biodiesel segment, Energy Absolute produces 800,000 litres of biodiesel per day for customers such as PTT, Chevron and Thaioil. Anticipating the decline in popularity of petroleum products, Energy Absolute ramps up its research and development initiatives and encourages company engineers to create more value-added offerings, particularly from agricultural products, as viable alternatives.
“As we go into higher-value entry products, we seek companies that have the mutual concept and commitment to sustainability,” Somphote says. “We’re willing to share our expertise with them.”
Ensuring that nothing goes to waste, Energy Absolute takes the by-product from biodiesel production and further refines it to produce glycerine. With glycerine’s wide range of chemical properties, Energy Absolute supplies it to the food, pharmaceutical, soap and cosmetics industries for various applications.
Energy Absolute’s commitment to sustainability extends to the community through its social enterprise unit. Aside from working with locals, Energy Absolute looks after the communities in the surrounding areas of its plants, sharing knowledge and resources for a harmonious coexistence.
“Wherever we set up our site, we help lift up the surrounding community’s quality of life,” says vice-president Omsin Siri. “We hope to be able to continue to help communities become more prosperous and sustainable.”