Gulf Energy, Bangchak shift toward renewables


Thai energy company Gulf Energy Development and petroleum and energy conglomerate Bangchak Corporation are committed to promoting clean energy and technology innovations, paving the way for sustainable growth.

Clean energy is a sustainability trend in the energy sector after efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions have become a global issue, said Sarath Ratanavadi, chief executive of Gulf.

Gulf initiated coal-fired power plant projects two decades ago, but “we eventually decided to move away from coal and will never look back,” he said. The company has turned to natural gas which is thought to be cleaner than fossil fuel.

Gulf currently has a total of 10 GW of natural gas-fired generation capacity from plants that are operational and being built. The energy company also invests in onshore solar farm and offshore wind farm to be in line with the global renewables trend.

During a panel discussion held as part of the Thailand Focus 2022 seminar co-organized by the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Sarath Ratanavadi said that surging gas price due to the conflict in easter Europe has prompted Gulf to put more emphasis on renewables.

“It is hard to predict when the energy price crisis will end, leaving many power firms with concerns over gas price fluctuations,” he said.

Chaiwat Kovavisarach, president and group chief executive of Bangchak, said the company plans to achieve carbon neutrality and net-zero goals by 2030 and 2050, respectively, which is faster than the time frame set by the government: 2050 for carbon neutrality and 2065 for the net-zero goal.

He stated that Bangchak is also interested in electric vehicle-related business. It established an in-house startup to provide a battery-swapping service for electric motorcycles.

Riders can use their smartphones to locate battery switching stations and easily swap their batteries with fully charged ones. Chaiwat Kovavisarach is looking to have up to 2,000 motorcycles use the service.

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