It may seem odd that an executive often dubbed "Asia's first lady of coal" is attempting to establish clean-energy credentials, but this is exactly what is happening in the case of Somruedee Chaimongkol. Banpu, a Thailand-based energy company, is known primarily as the country’s largest coal producer.
Since her appointment in 2015, she has been leading the company on its "Greener and Smarter" strategy to drive clean and renewable energy growth. Progress has been slow, and Banpu continues to receive criticism for pollution and environmental damage at home and in a number of its overseas operations, such as Indonesia and Australia.
Nevertheless, Somruedee is working to balance the company’s core business with more sustainable options.
Banpu has a total investment of $1.1 billion in US natural gas and $479 million in renewables and energy technology. Banpu's total investment in Sunseap, a Singapore-based renewable energy-solutions provider Sunseap, is $174 million.
"Banpu has been transforming into a leading integrated energy solutions company in Asia-Pacific by growing our business portfolio and ecosystem under Greener and Smarter strategy," Somruedee tells Business Insider. "Our utmost aim is to ensure energy sustainability and create additional values to all our stakeholders."