Thailand has long been promoting and supporting the energy development agenda, especially in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Thai government has been promoting renewable energy to reduce the use of fossil fuels, especially natural gas, and reduce the environmental impact from traditional energy sources. In support of the country’s initiative, B.Grimm Power, an energy company under the umbrella of B.Grimm Group, has come up as a dominant player in the renewable energy sector.
B.Grimm Group, Thailand’s oldest German-Thai infrastructure developer founded in 1878, has had a deep-rooted history in Thailand for 144 years, starting as a manufacturer of European modern medicines for Siam in the reign of King Rama V. Since then, B.Grimm has grown from a venture business to a large-scale infrastructure developer entrusted with landmark national projects such as the construction of Rangsit irrigation canals with a total length of 1,500 km, the operation of the country’s first telegraph license, and many other major industrial and trading activities. Today, B.Grimm Group is a conglomerate company with widely renowned expertise in building and industrial systems, healthcare, transportation, real estate, lifestyle, and emerging digital technologies; and now is also a country’s key player in the energy business.
The company ventured into the energy sector in the 1990s with B.Grimm Power as its strong investing arm and has been a listed public company limited since 2017. Notably, B.Grimm Power has grown from its first greenfield industrial power plant in Amata City in Chonburi to one of Thailand’s fastest-growing industrial and renewable power producers.
B.Grimm Power is committed to creating value for society in the form of a “Sustainable Utility Solution Provider” by producing high-quality energy and a full range of services to fulfill the needs of its associates, business partners, and society at large. The company focuses on the development, financing, construction, and operation of greenfield power plants, has successfully developed gas-fired electricity and steam-generating power plants, purchased additional projects, and will look for many more opportunities in the upcoming future. B.Grimm Power is also working strenuously to expand its investment in renewable energy, including solar energy, hydropower, wind energy, and energy storage systems (ESS) which are primed to be the epicenter of future energy generations.
At B.Grimm Power, sustainability is the core principle that reflects the company’s commitment to “Empowering the world compassionately” through sustainable business practices covering economic, environmental, and social dimensions, underpinned by commendable corporate integrity and governance. In doing so, B.Grimm Power constantly applies world-class standards and procedures; growing in a sustainable way domestically and internationally; working as a team with ethics under good governance, unity, and professionalism; creating long-lasting value for stakeholders and society; and being environmentally responsible and caring for the community in all respects.
In view of global climate change, B.Grimm Power has expanded its renewable energy business and has already produced a remarkable amount of renewable energy (solar, hydro- and wind power plants) in Thailand and many other countries. Besides Thailand, the firm is also an active energy player in global economic powerhouses including China, South Korea, and Japan, as well as rising economies in the ASEAN region such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, and the Philippines. In parallel, B.Grimm Power is also proactively pursuing various business opportunities with potential partners in Europe; the success of which would help accelerate the company’s future growth even further.
In 2019, B.Grimm Power successfully inaugurated the commercial operation of the largest solar power generation project in Southeast Asia in Tay Ninh, southwest Viet Nam, as well as the country’s largest single PPA installed capacity, 257 MW Phuyen TTP JSC, the latter of which was also awarded the Best Power Plant Project Developer – Solar, International Finance Awards 2019.
A new era for renewable energy development
In 2021, the B.Grimm Power-Energy China consortium brought a new era for renewable energy development in Thailand by successfully completing work at the world’s largest hydro-floating solar hybrid project at the Sirindhorn Dam for the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). The work included the installation of seven sets of solar cell panels, buoys, a concrete underwater anchor system, and a switchgear building at the site in northeastern Ubon Ratchathani province.
The solar farm at Sirindhorn Dam covers a surface area of more than 450 rai (one rai = 1,600 m2) of the dam’s reservoir. The solar panels and related equipment are mounted on buoys made from High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) carefully selected to ensure it would be harmless to aquatic animals and the environment. The solar panels used for the scheme are double glass type and the system is moisture resistant with the ability to withstand water movement of the reservoir and substantial wind force.
The system shares various existing resources at the dam including transformers, transmission lines, and high voltage stations, thus making the operation cost-effective by translating into lower tariffs. It also helps to reduce greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions by about 47,000 tonnes per year.
“We are pleased and proud to be a part of the endeavor that brings a new era for renewable energy development in Thailand by integrating solar and hydroelectric power in a hybrid system,” according to Dr. Harald Link, President of B.Grimm Power.
Furthermore, B.Grimm Power is also committed to expediting its solar rooftop business in the country and overseas. The emphasis on solar rooftops is in response to greater awareness of clean energy use to address environmental issues. At this juncture, B.Grimm Power is committed to supporting and collaborating with organizations around the world to increase the share of clean energy in the overall power portfolio to help alleviate global warming problems and achieve environmental sustainability
By expanding the renewable energy business to cover solar rooftops and floating solar, B.Grimm Power can offer a distribution and maintenance model to customers in an integrated and effective manner in order to address environmental issues. These factors provide a critical explanation as to why the company is proactively pursuing the solar rooftop business.
“The solar rooftop business model is in response to social and environmental needs as well as to help us to build long-term partnerships with customers. Today, the solar rooftop has made us more accessible and conveys a symbolic message for others to understand what it means to conduct business with compassion,” said Dr. Harald Link.
B.Grimm Power’s vision of “Empowering the world compassionately” has seen the company’s expansion accelerate into renewable energy with investments in solar, wind, and hydropower projects. Along with its decarbonization initiatives, impeccable safety record, and human rights advocacy across the entirety of its value chain, B.Grimm is a rare example of a company that matches its words with deeds.
With a strong foothold across priority locations around the world, business areas from which to expand its business, supported by excellent partners, the strategic initiatives of B.Grimm Power will empower the company to be a leading Utility Solution Provider and grow from strength to strength in the future.
Cambodia’s Ray Power Supply venture contributes to B.Grimm Power
Ray Power Supply Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of B.Grimm Solar Power 1 Co., Ltd., is a project company operating a 38MWp ground-mounted solar power facility in Banteay Meanchey Province, Cambodia. The project is a new addition to B.Grimm Power Public Company Limited’s power portfolio in 2020. B.Grimm Power, a company reputed to be Thailand’s leading industrial power producer, will seek to accomplish the strategic roadmap by continuing to embrace its traditional principles of conducting businesses with compassion.
B.Grimm Power is evolving to be a “Sustainable Utility Solution Provider” powered by reliable and clean energy sources, providing integrated services to meet changing customer needs, Dr. Harald Link, President of B.Grimm Power explained. B.Grimm Power will also continue to gear up business cooperation with congenial partners to further the company’s synergies and growth prospects both at home and abroad.
Ray Power Supply’s power plant successfully achieved commercial operation on 15 December 2020 and began supplying electricity to state-run utility Electricite Du Cambodge (EDC)’s grid under a 20-year power purchase agreement. This indeed marks the first solar energy project in Cambodia to secure a firm power supply guarantee from the government. Furthermore, the project is Cambodia’s only solar power project which could be constructed and successfully achieved commercial operation in 2020.
Amidst numerous obstacles and difficulties in the development and construction of this project including the Covid-19 pandemic which had a direct adverse impact on labor arrangements and equipment logistics, as well as the devastating floods that seriously affected the construction sites throughout 2020, B.Grimm Power considered the development of this project as a great example of a diligent endeavor with a high degree of professionalism and perseverance of B.Grimm Power’s team spirit to overcome the various restrictions along the way.
In June 2022, the project successfully achieved a financial close of 15-year term financing from a syndicated group of Thai lenders consisting of KASIKORNBANK PLC, Export-Import Bank of Thailand, and Bangkok Bank PLC. The loan is a vote of confidence by preeminent Thai financial institutions in B.Grimm Power, especially at a time when fundraisings, in general, are significantly hampered by the effects of Covid-19 and global economic uncertainty. Ray Power Supply’s project development is pursuant to changing energy demand that has led various domestic and international organizations to come up with a policy toward reducing carbon dioxide in the long term and embracing renewable energy.
B.Grimm Power’s expanding solar power business is a concrete response to the adaptation of energy demand platforms as an increasing number of organizations, particularly international ones, is turning to renewable energy as a means to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This scheme also aligns with B.Grimm Power’s goal to rapidly enhance clean energy in its generation portfolio as well as fulfilling its mission of “Empowering the world compassionately.”
Currently, B.Grimm Power has a total of 56 power plants in commercial operation. The company aims to ramp up its total installed capacity from 3,058 MW at the end of 2020 to at least 7,200 MW of secured power purchase agreements by 2025, and further to 10,000 MW by 2030 with an annual revenue target of over 100 billion Baht. The company is also eyeing investment opportunities in Thailand, Asia, Europe, and the US as part of its move to become a leading global energy producer. More importantly, B.Grimm Power is moving strenuously towards realising net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Dr. Harald Link: Business must prosper together with society
Dr. Harald Link is the Chairman of B.Grimm Group and President of B.Grimm Power Public Co., Ltd. He is touted as one of Thailand’s foremost philanthropists. Like all his forefathers, Dr. Link believed that business must prosper together with the society that it operates. A good example is the B.Grimm Boworn Smart Village Project, a model village of sustainable development, covering a village, school, and temple in Aranyaprathet district, Sa Kaeo province. The project applies the sufficiency economy approach with the participation of the local people.
Education is always at the forefront of Dr. Link’s agenda, and in his capacity as Chairman of the Princess Mother’s Charities Fund of Thailand, he provides nursing scholarships to nursing colleges throughout the country. Vocational education is supported in the Chitralada Vocational School as well as in B.Grimm’s power plants by way of the dual vocational system.
Dr. Link has also ensured that B.Grimm continues to support the Little Scientists’ House of Thailand, one of the most successful education projects under the auspices of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation. The project is based on the curriculum developed by the Haus der Kleinen Forscher Foundation, Germany, which aims to instill a love of science learning in preschool children aged three-to-six years old. Since the project launched in 2010, it has been taught in more than 22,000 kindergarten schools throughout Thailand.
The natural environment is equally important as the social environment. Apart from its reforestation projects, B.Grimm plays a leading role in supporting WWF-Thailand’s ambitious “Save the Tigers” conservation programme. Dr. Link firmly believes that Thailand still has a chance to save its majestic tigers. He also believes that, with compassion, a business can exist in harmony with nature and community. Tigers are at the top of the food chain – one of the top predators that maintain the balance of the ecosystem. When the top species are endangered, the ecosystem in which they live is endangered as well. There are only approximately 150 tigers remaining in the wild in Thailand, so strong actions are needed to increase the population.
Art and culture are also areas of interest for the company. B.Grimm is one of the major supporters of the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (RBSO) under the Royal Patronage of HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya. Presently, Dr. Link serves as the Chairman of the RBSO Foundation. He leads the foundation through its fourth decade with the mission to cultivate classical music for the younger generation and to make classical music accessible to all by empowering music education through the Royal Bangkok Symphony Music School (RBSS). Today, RBSO is one of the best orchestras in Southeast Asia and the orchestra provides a musical career to several outstanding musicians in the country.
For sports, Dr Link is not only a keen equestrian personally but also supports polo and equestrian sports in Thailand, elevating Thailand’s talents to world-class levels. In his role as the Chairman of the Thailand Equestrian Federation, Dr. Link gives full financial support to Thailand National Team riders. His proudest achievement came when the Thai Polo & Equestrian Club was selected by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) to host the FEI Asian Championships, the first of its kind to take place in Asia, during 1-8 December 2019. Through his initiative, Thailand became the first country in Asia to host the Asian Championship. In 2021, with Dr. Link’s full support, Thailand made history by sending its first national equestrian team to the Tokyo Olympics.
There is no doubt that Dr. Harald Link embodies B.Grimm’s mission statement: “We remain committed to good governance and business responsibility for the economy, society, and the environment, with an important long-term goal to become a net-zero carbon emissions organization by 2050.”