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KBank, Huawei unite for loan offer

From left, Mr Deng and Mr Pipit attend a press conference to promote their green loan project for rooftop solar panels.

Kasikornbank (KBank) is joining hands with Huawei Technologies Thailand to offer a new green loan product for solar panel installations, with a lending target of 5 billion baht this year.

The bank launched the residential loan under the "Go Green Together" project, offering a credit line to both homeowners and business operators who want to install solar panels on rooftops.

The loan carries zero interest for the first three months, with the promotional rate available until the end of the year.

KBank expects 30,000 building owners to apply for the loan, which would lower electricity bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 265,000 metric tonnes this year.

Pipit Aneaknithi, KBank's co-president, said the bank launched the green project in February this year and has received a good response from customers.

Positive demand for green loan programmes from both retail and business clients reflects consumers are paying greater attention to renewable energy, he said. Renewable technology development is a key factor luring consumers to go green in order to benefit from lower costs, said Mr Pipit.

Initially the bank set a loan budget of 5 billion baht for solar rooftop installations, but it is ready to expand the budget in line with demand.

The bank believes overall green loan demand will increase significantly over the next 5-10 years, and its financial facilities could increase to around 100 billion baht, he said.

KBank, the country's second-largest lender by assets, recently launched "Zero Green" loans covering auto, mortgage, and business segments with a total loan budget of 3 billion baht. Demand for the loan programme has exceeded its budget, said Mr Pipit.

Kasikorn Research Center forecasts solar roof installation in the business sector to increase to 126 megawatts this year, an increase of 54% from 2021. Demand in the household sector is expected to grow in response to more requests from real estate developers for their new housing projects, as consumers increasingly focus on green trends and higher electricity bills.

KBank and Huawei, the leading digital power supplier with a network of highly specialised solar rooftop installers, said the collaboration will bring both financial assistance and innovative products to support the green ecosystem from upstream to downstream, including solar rooftop contractors, homeowners and business owners.

The companies said each household could save up to 36,000 baht annually on electricity bills after deploying 5 kilowatts of solar panels at home.

Abel Deng, chief executive of Huawei Technologies Thailand, said the collaboration would provide a variety of financial solutions to support the development of Thailand's green economy.

More households in Thailand are shifting to solar panels to cut their electricity bills.

Market trends indicate this year, more than 80,000 households will install solar panels to help reduce power costs, while the average payback period for solar rooftop solutions in Thailand is roughly five years, said the two firms.