“The presence of high technology and established solar players is crucial to the completion of the whole ecosystem of the solar industry in Malaysia. Towards this, MIDA is proud to share that we have attracted an addition of 7 more solar manufacturing projects and 83 renewable energy projects in the solar industry worth RM1.77 billion and RM0.65 billion respectively, last year. The biggest investment was contributed by Longi, a major solar giant producing solar ingot, wafer cells and modules. Other investments approved include Jinko Solar and JA Solar which will be undertaking expansion and diversification activities,” said Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) today at the PV CellTech 2017 held in Penang today.
“Located in the Sama Jaya Free Industrial Zone, Sarawak, Longi’s project worth RM1.06 billion will create 2,360 job opportunities. Notably, its employees will be given further technical skills training and knowledge capability development. Bringing along state-of-the-art technologies, Longi’s operations will further strengthen the current solar ecosystem in Malaysia. We welcome more of such high value added investments in the upstream solar ecosystem, particularly those with high efficiency in technology and cost competitive in production,” said the CEO of MIDA.
Malaysia has achieved significant progress in the solar PV industry over the last decade that had resulted in the growth of new businesses and creation of jobs. As at 2015, 48 solar projects have been implemented with total investments of RM28.0 billion, to produce solar wafers, cells, modules and balance of system components. Of this, 95.3% was from foreign investments, while another 4.7% was from domestic sources. The projects have created more than 26,700 job opportunities. According to a recent survey conducted by MIDA, the export and local sourcing activities undertaken by the top solar companies in the country in 2016 valued at RM11.1 billion and RM1.42 billion, respectively.
“While a comprehensive ecosystem is a magnet for investors, we are aware that a strong supply chain is also crucial to support the industry to maintain a conducive business environment. Towards this goal, we are building up local capabilities to develop further in areas such as system integration and the balance of system components, which are important parts of the PV system value chain,” said the MIDA CEO.
To boost the solar energy capacity in the country, the Government has introduced two new policies in 2016 to scale up the generation of renewable energy (RE). The policies are namely net energy metering and large scale solar mechanisms, which will accelerate the achievement of RE target of 2,080 MW by 2020. These two initiatives will also contribute an additional 1,500 MW of RE by 2020. With this, the Government can save the cost of electricity generation during peak hours from conventional fuels.
“Taking advantage of developments in the ecosystem, we would like to invite industry players to seize the opportunities present in the solar industry. Investors should look at Malaysia from a wider regional perspective and consider the country as a strategic business partner within the region and beyond. Being the choice location for PV CellTech 2017, which gathers distinguished thought-leaders, decision-makers and practitioners reflects the growing importance of Malaysia – the epicentre of the ASEAN region, as a solar cell manufacturing hub,” said Dato’ Azman.
“We are delighted to be back in Malaysia for the second PV CellTech event, having had a successful launch in 2016 in Kuala Lumpur. PV CellTech has now become one of the leading conferences on the solar photovoltaics calendar, and fills a void in the industry in having a high-quality dedicated conference focused purely on real-world, commercial solar cell mass production technologies and opportunities,” said Mr Finlay Colville, Head of Market Research at PV-Tech and Chairman of the PV CellTech 2017 Technical Advisory Board during his opening address at the event.
Over 80% of the participants are from Europe, US, Australia, China, Taiwan, India and Southeast Asia. Out of the total participants, 24 companies with operations in Malaysia were also present at the event. They are from various segments of the solar industry value chain, ranging from upstream to downstream.