Thailand's Gulf Energy Development Pcl on Sept. 9 said it has invested $409 million in a 49% stake in Jackson Generation, a 1,200-megawatt gas-fired power project in Illinois, its first expansion into the United States.

Gulf is acquiring the stakes from its long-term Japanese partner, J-Power and joins other Thai firms in investing in U.S. energy, including miner Banpu Pcl, owner of Denver-based BKV, which in May bought natural gas properties from Exxon Mobil for $750 million.

"As electricity demand in the United States continues to increase, Gulf sees the opportunity to develop other power projects," CFO Yupapin Wangviwat said in a statement, adding Gulf was considering other interests in the United States, including renewable energy.

The Jackson Generation deal is expected to conclude by December and Gulf would see profits immediately, as the project was already operating in operations.

Gulf currently has total capacity of 9.4-gigawatts (GW) with a target to reach 14.5 GW by 2027, most of it in Thailand.

Gulf is owned by Thai billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi, who Forbes ranks as the country's fourth richest.

In January, the company announced a joint venture with the world's largest crypto exchange, Binance, to set up an exchange in Thailand.

Gulf has been diversifying its business into digital infrastructure and last year took a controlling stake in InTouch Holdings Pcl, which owns Thailand's top mobile operator, AIS.