PRAISE FOR CON­DUCIVE EN­VI­RON­MENT

Coun­try highly sought af­ter by global so­lar play­ers, says PV-Tech

New Straits Times - - Business -

AUDREY DERMAWAN GE­ORGE TOWN au­dreymd@nst.com.my

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.

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