PRAISE FOR CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT
Country highly sought after by global solar players, says PV-Tech
AUDREY DERMAWAN GEORGE TOWN email@example.com
MALAYSIA’S well-developed infrastructure, workforce and network build-up for the semiconductor industry to support high technology manufacturing has earned recognition from PV-Tech and Solar Media Ltd.
PV-Tech and Solar Media head of market research Finlay Colville said Malaysia stood above other Southeast Asia countries due to those factors, which were highly sought after by global players in the solar industry.
To-date, Colville said Malaysia was probably the most important country outside China for solar cell manufacturing.
“Malaysia has one of the best developed infrastructures to support high technology manufacturing. It stands miles ahead of other countries (in Southeast Asia) in terms of infrastructure, workforce and network build-up for the semiconductor industry. It is absolutely unique in Southeast Asia.
“The fact that Malaysia has attracted some of the best companies globally... it is something that other countries in Southeast Asia is not going to do,” he said at the international solar conference, PV Celltech 2017, here, yesterday.
There are currently 25 solar manufacturing players in the country, five of which are among the top 10 in the world.
Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) chief executive officer Datuk Azman Mahmud said Malaysia’s approach had been to grow its overall ecosystem, in that not only the supply chain but supporting services as well.
“We have developed the right environment, but it took us a long time to get to where we are today. Over the years, we have created a conducive environment for, in this case, the solar industry.
“We look forward for more companies coming to Malaysia, whether with new investments or via expansion and diversification,” said Azman, adding that the sophistication of the solar manufacturing industry was different compared with five years ago in terms of quality, efficiency and the technology used.
He said Malaysia had achieved significant progress in the solar industry over the last decade, with healthy growth seen in new businesses and the creation of jobs.
“Malaysia is now the world’s third-largest manufacturer of solar cells and modules. We also have the largest thin film manufacturing site, and are one of the top exporters of solar panels to the United States.
“Although solar cells are a new source of growth for Malaysia, we have made preparations to transform Malaysia into a hub for solar manufacturing and services, and an efficient energy generator towards creating economic growth, energy security and sustainable development,” he said.
Mida attracted seven more solar projects with approved investments of RM1.77 billion last year, and 83 renewable energy projects worth RM0.65 billion.
“We are currently in discussions with some European and Asian companies, but nothing has been finalised yet,” he said, adding that it would take a couple of months to finalise things.