WHAUP Marks First Trading Day Expanding Utilities Power- Business for Eastern Economic Corridor Investment

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Thursday April 20, 2017 18:33
Bangkok--20 Apr--Medea Planner Consultants

WHA Utilities and Power PLC. (WHAUP) is having its first day trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, highlighting its strong fundamental and prepared to expand its integrated utilities and power business in Thailand and overseas. The company is also ready for the investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), which is its stronghold and coincides with the target industrial promotion area of the country. WHAUP is confident that it will benefit from increasing demand for utilities and power from investors in industrial estates.

Dr. Somyos Anantaprayoon, Chairman of the Board of Directors of WHA Corporation PCL. and WHA Utilities and Power PLC said, "First Trading Day today marks an important step forward for WHAUP. We believe in the bright future and potential of utilities and power business from company business expansion plan, in line with the growing investment of leading industries in Thailand and overseas"

Ms. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, Group Chief Executive Officer, WHA Corporation PLC. (WHA Group) said, "WHAUP is among our four business hubs which has the potential for sustainable growth, thanks to the increasing demand of utilities and power from investors both in and outside industrial estates."

Currently, WHAUP has its investment base in the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand which is the promoted area by the Eastern Economic Corridor policy. When those promoted investments are made, it will fuel WHAUP business growth. Therefore, listing WHAUP in SET under Energy and Utilities Sector would be of interest to investors in the long term.

"Utilities and power are among the top businesses of WHA Group that is seen to continue to grow, especially in industrial areas where they are the key inputs for businesses. Therefore, demand growth for utilities and power in the industrial estates will indicate WHAUP's future growth." Ms. Jareeporn added

Mr. Wisate Chungwatana, Chief Executive Officer, WHA Utilities and Power PLC. (WHAUP) said, "WHAUP is confident that the trading today will receive attention from the investors, considering the company's outstanding and well-established utilities business and large customer base in the Eastern Economic Corridor which possesses higher investment potential and, as a result, higher demand on utilities and power than other regions."

Fund raised from the initial public offering will be utilized for several purposes, including investment in utilities and power business expansion and repayment of a part of loan, which will reduce D:E ratio from the current 1.5 times.

At present, 6 SPP power plants that WHAUP is a joint venture partner, accounting for 190 megawatts (equity MW), are under construction and require an additional 1,858 million Baht investment. In 2017, four out of six power plants with 130 megawatts contribution will start commercial operations while the other two will follow in 2018 – 2019. The company will recognize the contribution from 540 MW investment in power business in 2019, up 54% from 350 megawatts at the end of 2016.

In addition, WHAUP is also co-developing a waste-to-energy project under Chonburi Clean Energy (CCE), a joint venture with Glow Energy Plc. and Suez Group, which recently signed a PPA with Provincial Electricity Authority for the 8.63-megawatt industrial waste fired power project with 6.90 MW Contracted Capacity to be located in Hemaraj Chonburi Industrial Estate. Such project is now under environment impact assessment (EIA) process and expected to be completed and approved by the relevant authority in October 2017. Construction period should take around 24-26 months and is scheduled to achieve the commercial operation in December 2019. Investment is worth 1,500 million Baht. For other Alternative Power investment, WHAUP is also working on solar power rooftop projects on the roof of buildings belonged to WHA Group which possesses more than 2,000,000 square metres of roof areas.

Utilities business is an equally important part of WHAUP. The company serviced industrial water and treated waste water up to 95 million cubic metres combined last year. Demand for the industrial water would increase significantly when all the 6 SPP power plants start commercial operation respectively.

"From the aforementioned business plan, we are confident the revenue from utilities business and profit contribution from power business would increase, compared to 2016 where we earned 1,600 million Baht from utilities business and 985 million Baht from share of profit and dividend from power business. Customer base expansion, contributed by the government's Eastern Economic Corridor will benefit WHAUP even further."

Ms. Veena Lertnimitr, Executive Vice President, Primary Distribution, Siam Commercial Bank, in the capacity of WHAUP's financial advisor as well as representing Siam Commercial Securities, the lead IPO underwriter, said "WHAUP's business stands out for its fully integrated utilities and power business. Besides, it is the operator in the government's target industrial promotion area in the east of Thailand."

Judging from the expertise and experience in utilities and power business of the management team, we believe that WHAUP has high potential to expand its business in Thailand and in the region, especially in CLMV countries where demand for utilities and power remains high. In 2016, WHAUP's revenue from sales and services accounts for 1,600 million Baht with Gross profit of 539 million Baht and share of profit and dividend of 985 million Baht.

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