HOT CHUP­ING

Perlis in­dus­trial area to host so­lar en­ergy har­vest­ing fa­cil­ity

New Straits Times - - News -

ADIE SURI ZULKEFLI PADANG BE­SAR adie.zulkefli@nst.com.my

CHUP­ING was once known as the “sweet­est place in the coun­try” with sug­ar­cane plan­ta­tions that sprawled across 3,500ha of the val­ley.

It also earned the ti­tle hottest place in Malaysia when the area recorded 40.1°C in 1998.

How­ever, the Chup­ing heat will soon turn into a bless­ing for the peo­ple here as the Chup­ing Val­ley In­dus­trial Area (CVIA) is set to trans­form this area into the “hottest” Re­new­able En­ergy Gen­er­a­tion (REG) pow­er­house.

Gad­ing Ken­cana Sdn Bhd, a re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor player, lauded the CVIA launch as timely, in line with the rapid growth of the REG sec­tor.

Its man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Datuk Gun­tor Tobeng, said Chup­ing had enor­mous po­ten­tial to be­come a cat­a­lyst for the REG sec­tor as it had the warm­est weather (ir­ra­di­ance, in tech­ni­cal terms) com­pared with other places in the penin­sula.

Gun­tor said with the ca­pa­bil­ity of pro­duc­ing 1,700W of en­ergy for each square me­tre, Chup­ing would be the “hottest” lo­ca­tion among in­vestors in the sec­tor.

He said the com­pany would make an ini­tial in­vest­ment of RM250 mil­lion to build a 30MW so­lar en­ergy har­vest­ing fa­cil­ity on a 60ha plot in CVIA’s 13,354ha project.

“Of course, we will have to go through the bid­ding process with the En­ergy Com­mis­sion for the plot.

“If ev­ery­thing goes as planned, we ex­pect the so­lar-har­vest­ing fa­cil­ity in CVIA to be up and run­ning by 2019,” he said, af­ter the project launch by Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Si­ra­jud­din.

Present were Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizud­din, Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Azlan Man and North­ern Cor­ri­dor Im­ple­men­ta­tion Author­ity (NCIA) chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Datuk Redza Rafiq.

Gun­tor said his com­pany op­er­ated two large so­lar-har­vest­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Malacca and Bi­dor, Perak.

Fin­nish em­bassy first sec­re­tary in Kuala Lumpur, Laakko­nen Teemu, was all praise for the project, as it would con­trib­ute to sus­tain­able en­ergy pro­duc­tion while re­duc­ing car­bon emis­sions.

“We (Fin­nish govern­ment) are keen to share our knowl­edge in green tech­nol­ogy .

“South­east Asia, and in par­tic­u­lar Malaysia and Chup­ing Val­ley, have huge op­por­tu­ni­ties to tap the grow­ing re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor as the cli­mate here is suit­able for so­lar har­vest­ing.

“Un­like Fin­land, where we have a long win­ter sea­son, forc­ing us to in­no­vate to gen­er­ate en­ergy, over here ev­ery day is a good day for so­lar-power gen­er­a­tion,” he said.

Be­sides re­new­able en­ergy, the other two main clus­ters in the CVIA are green man­u­fac­tur­ing and halal in­dus­tries, be­sides a 204ha Perlis In­land Port.

State Eco­nomic Plan­ning Unit (EPU) di­rec­tor Iza­mael Zamzuri Is­mail said CVIA was a highly an­tic­i­pated project as it would not only be a cat­a­lyst to Perlis’ growth, but also stem ta­lent out­flow from the state.

“We have three in­sti­tu­tions of higher learn­ing here: Univer­siti Malaysia Perlis, Univer­siti Te­knologi Mara and a polytech­nic.

“Most of the grad­u­ates, lo­cal and out­siders who stud­ied here, wish to stay in Perlis, but there are not many job of­fers.

“This project will be the longterm an­swer with the cre­ation of at least 12,500 jobs.”

BER­NAMA PIC

Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Si­ra­jud­din (third from right) look­ing at the Chup­ing Val­ley In­dus­trial Area plan af­ter launch­ing it yes­ter­day. Present are Raja Muda Tuanku Syed Faizud­din (fourth from right) and Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Azlan Man (cen­tre).

Datuk Gun­tor Tobeng

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