Absolute Energy CEO Becomes Billionaire as Stocks Soar
Somphote Ahunai just became Thailand’s newest billionaire. The CEO of the Bangkok-based energy company—which produces biodiesel and operates solar plants—saw shares of the company triple this year.
The 46-year-old Somphote owns 40 percent of the company, with the stake currently valued at $1.2 billion. This could increase still, as investors have an optimistic outlook for the company as solar and wind investments are expected to generate revenue and profit.
Suwat Sinsadok, an analyst at CIMB Securities (Thailand) Co., told Bloomberg that Somphote has been a major boon to the company.
“Somphote’s engineering and financial background has been a complete combination in successfully implementing the solar and power plant projects,” he said. “The company’s earnings will grow exponentially in the coming years with its high efficiency and projects.”
2014 has already been a banner year for the company. In Q1, profits quintupled to 459.9 million baht ($14.3 million). This was partially attributed to a 90 MW solar plant began operations in December of 2013.
Absolute Energy is closing out Q2 strong, as well. The stock hit a record price of 25.25 at the close in Bangkok. Looking ahead, the company is planning on operating a new 90 MW solar plant at the end of this year, as well as a comparable facility at the end of 2015. Plans are also in place for 620 MW of wind energy, which will be generated by 12 different wind power projects.
The rest of the year looks good for Somphote.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.