Nor­we­gian Scatec So­lar is pow­er­ing the green growth of Malaysia.

Soon there will be three so­lar parks gleam­ing in the sun on Penin­su­lar Malaysia: Mer­chang (north), Jasin (south) and Gu­run (west) will have so­lar plants, each span­ning more than 200 acres.

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents - ANRIKE VISSER

The project is de­vel­oped by Nor­we­gian firm Scatec So­lar and a lo­cal con­sor­tium con­sist­ing of ItraMAS, Mal­tech and Cam Lite. Scatec So­lar is a so­lar power pro­ducer de­liv­er­ing af­ford­able, rapidly de­ploy­able and sus­tain­able sources of clean en­ergy world­wide.

Scatec So­lar al­ready de­vel­ops, builds, owns, op­er­ates and main­tains so­lar power plants in the Czech Repub­lic, South Africa, Rwanda, Hon­duras and Jor­dan. In late 2016 the com­pany also an­nounced projects in Mozam­bique and Brazil.

ItraMAS is a Malaysian LED light­ing, traf­fic man­age­ment and con­struc­tion en­gi­neer­ing

com­pany, and the lead spon­sor of the three so­lar project. The con­sor­tium, led by ItraMAS, has signed three 21-year Power Pur­chase Agree­ments ( PPAs) with the coun­try’s largest elec­tric­ity provider, Te­naga Na­sional Ber­had ( TNB). The role of Scatec is ex­plained by Mr Ray­mond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec So­lar: “Scatec So­lar will take the lead­ing role for EPC ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase for all three projects, as well as op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance through O&M ser­vice con­tracts.”

Scatec So­lar will in­vest USD 60 mil­lion through pref­er­ence shares, partly con­vert­ible to a 49% eq­uity own­er­ship in the projects. Fi­nanc­ing of the project is han­dled by CIMB, Malaysia’s sec­ond largest com­mer­cial bank. Con­struc­tion of the plants is sched­uled to start af­ter fi­nan­cial close in 2017.

Ac­tiv­i­ties in Asia

“This is a land­mark op­por­tu­nity to bring our wide-rang­ing ex­per­tise to re­al­ize the largest so­lar en­ergy port­fo­lio in South East Asia. For Scatec So­lar and our part­ners, this is a step­ping stone to en­ter one of the most dynamic and fast­grow­ing re­gions of the world’’ said Mr Carlsen.

This is the first of Scatec So­lar’s ac­tiv­i­ties in Asia, but there are plans to get more projects un­der­way in the fu­ture. “We are pur­su­ing a 150 MW project in Pak­istan. We have signed a joint devel­op­ment agree­ment with Nizam En­ergy for the devel­op­ment of 300 MW so­lar power plants, and the first 150 MW un­der this agree­ment is in­cluded in our pipe­line. We cur­rently also hold project op­por­tu­ni­ties with a com­bined ca­pac­ity of 2,008 MW across the Amer­i­cas, Africa and Asia and we are eval­u­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in coun­tries like Bangladesh and Myan­mar.”

These ac­tiv­i­ties match the mis­sion of Scatec So­lar to “bring util­ity-scale so­lar to emerg­ing economies” as stated in the in­tro­duc­tion video on the com­pany’s

web­site. Mr Carlsen ex­plains the im­por­tance of this mis­sion. “Scatec So­lar is ac­tively pur­su­ing a growth strat­egy with a clear-cut fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing util­ity-scale so­lar plants in emerg­ing mar­kets. We have an am­bi­tion to grow our as­set base from cur­rent 322 MW to 1,300-1,500 MW in op­er­a­tion and un­der con­struc­tion by the end of 2018.” Cut­ting car­bon emis­sions

For Malaysia, the so­lar plants are an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to plans for low­er­ing car­bon emis­sions. Eco­nomic growth and de­pen­dency on non-re­new­able en­ergy sources cre­ated car­bon emis­sions of 8 met­ric tons per capita in Malaysia in 2013. The global av­er­age in that year was al­most 5 met­ric tons per capita. Af­ter the Paris Cli­mate Agree­ment, Malaysia has pledged to cut those emis­sions 40% by 2020. The three Malaysian so­lar projects of Scatec So­lar are ex­pected to gen­er­ate 285,000 MW of elec­tric­ity and avoid 210,000 tons of car­bon emis­sions per year.

The Malaysian gov­ern­ment’s plans for cut­ting car­bon emis­sions are stated in the Eleventh Malaysia Plan. “To achieve the vol­un­tary tar­get of re­duc­ing green­house gases (GHGs) emis­sion in­ten­sity of GDP by up to

40% in the year 2020, com­pared to 2005 lev­els, var­i­ous mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures were un­der­taken dur­ing the Tenth Plan. […] The Re­new­able En­ergy Act was en­forced in 2011 to ac­cel­er­ate con­tri­bu­tion from green en­ergy such as so­lar pho­to­voltaic (PV), biomass, bio­gas and mini hy­dro in Malaysia’s elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion mix.” [sic]

Re­new­able en­ergy (RE) is a sig­nif­i­cant part of the gov­ern­ment’s strat­egy for reach­ing these goals. “RE ca­pac­ity is ex­pected to reach 2,080 MW by 2020, con­tribut­ing to 7.8% of to­tal in­stalled ca­pac­ity in Penin­su­lar Malaysia and Sabah. In the Eleventh Plan, fo­cus will be on pro­mot­ing new RE sources, en­hanc­ing ca­pac­ity of RE per­son­nel and im­ple­ment­ing net en­ergy metering to fur­ther in­ten­sify the devel­op­ment of RE.” The to­tal in­stalled ca­pac­ity of re­new­able en­ergy in Malaysia in 2014 was 243 MW, mean­ing the gov­ern­ment plans to in­crease ca­pac­ity al­most nine-fold by 2020. Fos­ter­ing lo­cal devel­op­ment

Work­ing to­gether with lo­cal com­pa­nies is im­por­tant as stated by Mr Choo Boo Lee, CEO of ItraMAS, in a press re­lease by Scatec So­lar. “This is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment for Malaysia and the so­lar in­dus­try in the re­gion as these projects will help de­velop lo­cal sup­ply chains and up­lift lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties”. Mr Carlsen agrees: “Scatec So­lar strives to use and strengthen lo­cal sup­ply chains and en­trepreneurs to the ex­tent pos­si­ble in our lo­cal op­er­a­tions. We help de­velop lo­cal sup­ply chains through part­ner­ships and the shar­ing of knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence from other mar­kets.

Com­mu­nity re­la­tions and so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts are man­aged as an in­te­grated part of our busi­ness. We plan and im­ple­ment com­mu­nity devel­op­ment pro­grammes in all the lo­cal ar­eas where we have op­er­a­tions. We want to en­sure good re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion with the com­mu­ni­ties near our plants and we want to make a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion. Ex­am­ples of such pro­grammes in­clude ini­tia­tives re­lated to health and ed­u­ca­tion; build­ing lan­guage cen­tres, de­vel­op­ing health pro­grammes, sup­port­ing smaller busi­nesses and en­gag­ing youths in sports.

We also con­trib­ute to job cre­ation by em­ploy­ing lo­cal labour as far as pos­si­ble. This can con­trib­ute to re­duc­ing un­em­ploy­ment rates and it also pro­vides knowl­edge trans­fer to the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties where we are present. We use lo­cal ser­vices and skills in all the phases of our projects, with the most in­tense use of lo­cal labour in the con­struc­tion phase. These con­struc­tion jobs are of­ten short term, as the labour­in­ten­sive con­struc­tion phase usu­ally lasts 6-14 months. Still, em­ploy­ees learn trans­fer­able and valu­able skills that can open up op­por­tu­ni­ties for fu­ture em­ploy­ment in any in­dus­try.”

This is in line with gov­ern­men­tal plans as out­lined in the pre­vi­ous­ly­men­tioned Eleven th Malaysia Plan .“The RE in­dus­try will di­ver­sify Malaysia’s en­ergy mix in a more sus­tain­able man­ner, cre­ate em­ploy­ment, and en­hance skills. The in­dus­try is ex­pected to cre­ate about 15,300 jobs, com­pris­ing of skilled and semi-skilled jobs. The Gov­ern­ment will pro­vide train­ing to 1,740 per­son­nel through the Sus­tain­able En­ergy Devel­op­ment Author­ity (SEDA), creat­ing ex­perts in the field of biomass, bio­gas, mini hy­dro and so­lar PV.”

A move to­wards re­new­able en­er­gies doesn’t re­quire hin­der­ing the eco­nomic growth of Malaysia. The Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-op­er­a­tion and Devel­op­ment (OECD) used the term ‘green growth’ when re­fer­ring to a de­sire to con­tinue eco­nomic devel­op­ment while fos­ter­ing sus­tain­abil­ity at the same time. “Green and growth go very well to­gether. Green growth means we go for growth, we re­cover GDP... but we pre­serve and we ac­tu­ally en­hance the en­dow­ment of nat­u­ral re­sources that we were pro­vided with, and which to­day are sus­tain­ing the eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity on our planet,” stated OECD Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral, Mr Án­gel Gur­ría, on the OECD web­site.

Ac­cord­ing to the OECD “[f]os­sil fu­els will con­tinue to dom­i­nate en­ergy sup­ply for some time sim­ply be­cause they are so en­ergy dense, so­ci­eties and in­fras­truc­ture have evolved around them, and due to the fact that in­no­va­tion and change take time. Nev­er­the­less, new sources of en­ergy need to be de­ployed on a scale equiv­a­lent to the in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion. With­out de­ci­sive ac­tion, en­ergy-re­lated emis­sions of CO2 will dou­ble by 2050.”

Scatec So­lar will soon con­trib­ute to green growth of Malaysia with the so­lar projects on Penin­su­lar Malaysia. More coun­tries in the re­gion are ex­pected to fol­low soon. Left: Scatec So­lar's Kalk­bult so­lar plant in South Africa.


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