Somphote Ahunai, the founder of listed Thai renewables firm Energy Absolute, has become a billionaire as the company's stock has more than tripled this year to a historic high.

Energy Absolute's stock was trading 1.98% higher to 25.75 baht at 1534 hrs in Bangkok, extending 5 August's 3.5% gain, when it finished at a record high.

The stock has rallied some 236% so far this year.

Somphote, 46, owns about 40% of Energy Absolute, according to a 27 March filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). That stake is valued at $1.2bn (£711m, €898m), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Energy Absolute, a biodiesel producer and solar plant operator, accounts for over a third of the weighting on the SET index, according to Bloomberg data.

The Bangkok-based firm can produce over 800,000 litres (211,000 gallons) of biodiesel a day, according to its website. The firm also plans to develop 12 wind power sites with a combined capacity of 620 megawatts.

The company logged an over five-fold increase in its first-quarter profit to 459.9m baht ($14.3m) according to its exchange filing.

Somphote has an engineering degree from Thailand's Chulalongkorn University and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh, according to the American business school's website.