Banpu Plc raised its five-year capital expenditure budget through 2015 to $1.7 billion from $466 million including $600 million to be spent on its Australian coal operations. Thailand’s largest coal miner aims to raise its coal production to 60 million metric tons (mt) by 2015 from 47.7 million mt this year, said Chief Executive Chanin Vongkusolkit.

Australian coal production will total 20 million mt, 30 million mt will come from Indonesian mines, 5 million mt from Mongolia and another 5 million mt from China.

Investments in Indonesia and at Hongsa Lignite thermal power plant in Laos were also increased. Excluding capital slated for Australian coal mines, Banpu’s investments from 2011-15 were increased by $650 million. Some 27 million mt are expected to be sold from Indonesia this year, 16.7 million mt from Australia, 3 million mt from China, and 1 million mt from Mongolia.

Revenue is projected to grow by 15% this year to 130 billion baht ($4.2 billion) thanks to higher coal sales and favorable prices as a result of strong demand in Asia. Average sales prices this year are likely to exceed last year’s $97.06/mt, he added.

Banpu expects Indonesian coal will average $100/mt, with Australian coal averaging $75/mt. In 2011, Banpu reported sales revenue of 112.4 billion baht ($3.7 billion), up by 72% from the previous year. The increase was attributed to higher sales volume and prices from Indonesian and Australian mines.

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