Amorn Sapthaweekul, 41, has been determined to follow his passion by combining his knowledge and his experiences as a financial expert to turn around a small producer of cooking oil to be a Leader in Asia’s green energy business.
After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Banking a Master’s Degree in Financial Engineering, Amorn gains his financial competent from working in the financial market as an Investment Banker and Financial Advisor. He leaded and supported his clients to achieve business target especially in providing source of fund.
In 2009, after subprime mortgage crisis, he decided to face a big challenge, quit his job from financial sector and became an entrepreneur to co-invest in Energy Absolute Public Company Limited (“EA”). He and his partners transformed the palm cooking oil factory to be a biodiesel factory. Amorn began an energy business that relied on his passion, self-study, work experience in the financial market, planning abilities, organizational skills and strategy in sourcing of fund, all of which helped his business to become a leader in alternative energy. Later on, in 2011 he started investing in renewable power plant after foreseeing a great opportunity from the government policy to promote renewable energy in Thailand. After complete construction and start commercial operation of the first solar power plant on 17th October 2012, Amorn led the company to be listed on mai, the Thai stock market for high growth company. The company was successfully raised US$ 86 million through IPO to invest in the next three solar power plants with the capacity of 90 mw each which is considered to be the largest single solar power plant in South East Asia.
Amorn has said that the achievement of making the business grow did not come from a miracle but from his ambition combined with his analytical ability, good strategic plan and the contributions presented to him by knowledgeable people. If we foresee an opportunity and we want to do something that we do not have in-depth knowledge about, we have to study, conduct research, learn from textbooks, and learn from knowledgeable people. And the most important is that we have to be a fast mover. EA will continue its focus to be a leader in the alternative energy business through the use of modern and environmentally-friendly technology while benefitting consumers, shareholders, business partners, and employees as stated in the company’s vision.
After the success of initial business venture, Amorn and the company’s management started to look for business opportunities that would increase its return, diversify risk, and create more security for the company in the long run while still remaining within the framework of environmentally-friendly alternative energy in line with Thailand Power Development Plan (PDP). The company focuses on functional technological development, utilizing the skills and knowledge of its team members and management. Energy Absolute began to develop into a producer of electricity, starting with solar energy and extending to wind energy, while staying alert to other opportunities offered by the weather and environment of the country. It was eventually able to organize four solar energy power plant projects, with a production capacity of 278 MW and eight wind power plant projects, with a production capacity of 386 MW.
The leader, who has directed all the teamwork to this point of achievement and continues to move forward, is Mr. Somphote Ahunai, Chief Executive Officer of the company, who initiated the research and technical development, in collaboration with Mr. Amorn Sapthaweekul, Director and Deputy CEO, whose expertise is in project analysis and financial planning, and is supported by Mr. Wutthilerd Chiannilkulchai, who has extensive experience in the oil business. These three founders have managed the company’s strong and secure growth that can be seen today. The total asset was grown up from US$ 22 million in 2009 to be US$ 939 million in 2015. The net profit was dramatically growth from US$ 1 million in 2009 to be US$ 77 million in 2015. This high growth reflects success and strength of the management.
Amorn talks about the strength of Energy Absolute with pride, stating that the company consists of business diversity and quality personnel in many areas. What Amorn has done is to establish the company’s vision, motivate good and competent people to come to work for it, and make it an organization that offers opportunities to its employees.
At present, the company earns 70% of its income from biodiesel and 30% from the electricity business. However, if profits are taken into consideration, 90 % of profits have been from the electricity business. Energy has been, at all times, a major factor in economic growth. The larger the economy has grown, the higher the demands for energy have become. Though sometimes the economic growth slows, there is still the need for energy. So there should be more development in alternative energy production in order to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, which Thailand lacks. The strength of the teamwork has led Amorn, in his capacity as the top management of the organization, to the belief that the company will be able to use all available know-how and technology to further its development. Biodiesel, solar power and wind power are certainly foundations upon which Energy Absolute can build to become “The Pillar in Alternative Energy of Thailand.”