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Nikkei Asia ($):

Thailand’s biggest coal miner Banpu has invested $430 million to acquire a 100% stake in a large-scale gas-fired power plant in the U.S., hurrying to move away from its main business, which has a large environmental impact, to a green business.

The company acquired the power plant in Texas from Temple Generation I and signed the contract on Aug. 10. The transaction is expected to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Banpu also invested $770 million in December 2019 to acquire a shale gas operation in Texas. It can provide gas to the power plant that the company bought in Texas at competitive prices.

The investment matches the company’s business plan to go greener. Somruedee Chaimongkol, Banpu’s chief executive officer, told Nikkei Asia in an interview in July that the company would gradually cut the role of the coal business and instead shift business resources toward natural gas and renewable energy. The company is aiming to have low-carbon green businesses contribute more than half of overall income by 2025.

An analyst at Kasikorn Research Center, a think-thank unit of Thai Kasikorn Bank, said this acquisition will help the company to immediately gain higher power generating capacity in green business. It will see benefits quicker than by building a new plant and waiting for years to start commercial operations.

[Apornrath Phoonphongphipat]

More: Thai coal miner buys gas-fired power plant in US for $430m

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