Ch. Karnchang Plc (CK), Thailand’s third-largest contractor by market value, is eyeing projects in Myanmar and Vietnam, while its controversial Xayaburi hydroelectric project in Laos remains on track to begin dam construction this year.
Chief executive Plew Trivisvavet yesterday said work has begun at the $3.8 billion Xayaburi project in northern Laos in terms of paving and some relocation.
The 1,260-megawatt dam is expected to begin construction later this year and begin operating in early 2019.
Xayaburi, one of 11 dams to be built on the Mekong River, is strongly opposed by environmentalists and riverside communities.
The Lao government last month officially announced suspension of the project pending further environmental impact studies.
“We’re still working on the project, as no one has told us to stop. We’ve not received formal notification from the Lao government to suspend our work,” said Plew.
The contractor expects to book revenue of 4 billion baht from Xayaburi this year.
Ch. Karnchang is also looking at Myanmar and Vietnam for infrastructure projects such as roads, dams and tap- and wastewater treatment projects, said Plew.
Meanwhile, the company will revise up this year’s total revenue target from a previous projection of 18 billion baht.
The company has a current backlog worth 120 billion baht and expects to receive 20 billion baht in new construction contracts in the second half.
Ch. Karnchang achieved first-half revenue of 9.18 billion baht, up by 15 percent year-on-year, for a net profit of 233 million, down by 55.6 percent.
For the second quarter alone, revenue was 4.27 billion baht, down by 2 percent year-on-year, for a net profit of 124 million baht, down 87.3 percent year-on-year to 124 million baht.
“Ch. Karnchang is working on the Green, Purple and Blue mass-transit lines as well as Xayaburi and co-generation power projects. Plus we may bid on some water-related projects of the government by joining with strategic partners,” said Plew.
The contractor yesterday signed an agreement appointing Siam Commercial Bank, KTB Advisory Co and Advisory Plus as financial advisers for listing CK Power, a power holding company operating mainly in Laos.
CK Power’s main asset is the 30 billion-baht Nam Theun 2 hydropower plant.
Plew said CK Power will float its shares on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) this year to raise funds for future projects.
Ch. Karnchang owns 30 percent of CK Power, which itself is part owner of Southeast Asia Energy Ltd and two solar power plants.
CK shares closed yesterday on the SET at 6.95 baht, down five satang, in trade worth 28.3 million baht.