Dr. Niphon Bundechanan, Chief Executive Officer of WHA Utilities and Power Public Company Limited (WHAUP), reveals the overview of last quarter of this year that the company will continue to expand its utilities business both inside and outside WHA industrial estates, in Thailand and in Vietnam. It will keep on developing innovative renewable energy solutions, especially on solar power business. These will reaffirm 25% year-on-year growth of normalized revenue and share of profits this year, while maintaining earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization margin (EBITDA Margin) by at least 50%. WHAUP's major businesses driving the growth to achieve the projection include:
Utilities Business - The domestic and international water sales and management volume is expected to grow continuously. In Thailand, water demand is rising from existing customers expanding their production and new customers gradually starting their operations. Total water distribution volume to Gulf Energy Development's 2,650 MW natural gas power plant, whose production unit 1 was commissioning (COD) last April and production units 2, 3 and 4 to COD in 2022, is expected to reach at least 16.2 million cubic meters/year by 2022. Meanwhile, WHAUP will continue to develop value-added water products such as Wastewater Reclamation, Demineralized Water with Membrane Reverse Osmosis technology, Smart Utilities Service Platform, and Innovative Solution for customers in industrial estates. These resulted in a 16% year-on-year increase in water sales and wastewater treatment volume, value-added water products included, and 170% growth year-on-year for only value-added water products. In addition, there are several projects under development and construction, including the new wastewater treatment plant at WHA Rayong 36 Industrial Estate, with a capacity of 2.7 million cubic meters/year, the Demineralized Water project with a capacity of 1 million cubic meters/year which locates outside WHA industrial estates, and the alternative raw water resource project with a capacity of 6 million cubic meters/year.
In Vietnam, the utilities business also grew in the first half of 2021. The Duong River Surface Water Plant (SDWTP), in which WHAUP holds a 34% stake, had a 26% increase in water sales volume compared the first six-month period of 2020. This was driven by rising water demand in Hanoi and nearby provinces such as Bac Ninh and Hung Yen. In addition, Cua Lo Water Supply JSC's water plant, in which WHAUP holds a 47% stake, has raised its production capacity to 8.4 million cubic meters to serve the growing population and higher water demand.
Power Business - WHAUP will continue expanding its investment, along with developing in innovative renewable energy solutions to serve its customers both inside and outside industrial estates. In 2021, the company projects to reach a total electricity generating capacity of 670 equity MW. Main operational growth is mostly from solar rooftop projects. Selected operating solar projects commissioned this year are Continental Tyres at WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 4 and Honda in Prachin Buri province. These brought the total of COD solar rooftop projects to 46 MW and the contractual capacity to 63 MW, out of the 90 MW target for 2021. The company aims to expand its solar rooftop business to reach 300 MW by 2023 as planned.
In line with its strategy to develop innovative solutions, WHAUP is collaborating with leading energy companies such as PTT and Sertis to develop smart energy platforms to sell solar energy within WHA industrial estates, including the P2P Energy Trading with Blockchain technology. The project was selected as a part of the Energy Regulatory Commission Sandbox (ERC Sandbox) program on energy innovation. It is also testing the Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), which will be used along with the solar energy generation. The first installation was implemented at its water plant in Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate (Rayong). The next step for BESS is to expand into the company's other operation sites and offer this service to WHA industrial estate customers. WHAUP believes the new innovations could significantly expand the renewable energy capacity and create a new business model following new government-related regulations and give competitive prices to its customers.
Furthermore, the company is moving forward to explore merger and acquisition opportunities (M&A) to increase its growth and affirms its commitment and determination to grow business in Thailand and overseas. This will be implemented along with the development of innovative renewable energy and utilities solutions, in order to become a leader in utilities and power businesses in this region.
Source: Media Planner Consultant