Tractebel buys Sithe's Thai power plants

The Belgian energy group Tractebel has acquired Sithe Energies Inc.'s power assets in Thailand in a transaction worth $490 million (US). The transaction includes five cogeneration plants in Thailand with generating capacity of 1,022 Mw of electricity and 820 Mw of thermal energy in the form of steam.


Bangkok�The Belgian energy group Tractebel has acquired Sithe Energies Inc.'s power assets in Thailand in a transaction worth $490 million (US).

The acquisition is indicative of Tractebel's aggressive expansion into the Thai and global power industry and ends Sithe's presence in Thailand as well as in some other countries where it is selling power plant assets.

The transaction includes five cogeneration plants in Thailand with generating capacity of 1,022 Mw of electricity and 820 Mw of thermal energy in the form of steam. Specifically, the deal includes Sithe's 62% stake in the Cogeneration Public Co. Ltd. (Coco), the kingdom's largest small power producer, which operates three cogeneration plants in Rayong with a combined electricity generating capacity of 770 Mw and 930 tonnes/hour of steam.

The transaction, which took about 6 months negotiate, also results in Tractebel acquiring the 100% interest held by Sithe in two other cogeneration projects in Thailand, the Samut Prakarn Cogeneration Co Ltd. and Nong Khae Cogeneration Co. Ltd.

Both located in Greater Bangkok, Samut Prakarn and Nong Khae operate cogeneration plants, each with a capacity of 126 Mw of power and 35 tonnes/hour of steam.

Dirk Beeuwsaert, CEO of Tractebel Electricity and Gas International division, said the acquisition consolidates Tractebel's position in Thailand's ``promising'' energy business, in which Tractebel now becomes the largest private foreign power investor with installed electricity generating capacity of about 1,900 Mw.

In addition to the acquisition of Sithe's Thai stakes, Tractebel Group has had energy interests here through H-Power, the joint venture company which the Belgian group owns 75% share together with Hemaraj Land and Development Co of Thailand holding a 25%.

Through H-Power, Tractebel group owns Bowin Power, which is building a 741 Mw gas-fired independent power plant in Chon Buri, east of Bangkok. The plant is due to come onstream in 2002.

H-Power is also the sponsor of a 120 Mw, 100 tonnes/hour steam gas-fired cogeneration plant in Rayong.

Tractebel is also a founding member of PTT Natural Gas Distribution Co Ltd, Thailand's largest natural gas distribution company and one of the first in Asia. It distributes natural gas to industrial estates in the greater Bangkok area.

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