Posts tagged solar
Iskandar Malaysia-based technology park aims to lead Malaysia into an advanced future as it signs another new investment and production deal.
Johor’s Senai Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) would be a “key driver” for high value technology industries and Malaysia’s aim to transform itself into an advanced, innovative nation, says Prime Minister Najib Razak.
PM Najib spoke yesterday at a signing ceremony for SHTP and Solexel (M) Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of California-based solar cell manufacturer Solexel Inc. A new memorandum of understanding between the two will see an aggregate investment of RM2.8 billion (US$944 million) over the next five years, and create 2,300 jobs.
Solexel will manufacture crystalline silicone solar cells at a new 100-acre facility in SHTP’s Industrial Zone Phase 1, and is capable of producing one gigawatt of cells per year. The company will also conduct R&D operations and help create a local supply chain for chemicals used in solar photovoltaic (PV) cell and semiconductor manufacturing.
Senai Hi-Tech Park will be 1,000 acres total at completion, and is Malaysia’s second dedicated high technology zone after Kulim Hi-Tech Park in the country’s northwest. Kulim’s success at attracting international investment was the impetus for creating the SHTP project last year and the project’s developers are negotiating major deals with foreign investors.
Both parks aim to spur the local high-value economy and create employment for Malaysians in more advanced industries. Calling itself a ‘third-generation technology park’, SHTP is located next to the redeveloped Senai International Airport in Johor state’s Iskandar Malaysia special economic region, across the water from Singapore.
Large multinationals Proctor & Gamble (P&G) and Samsung this week announced increases to their Indonesian manufacturing capacity, while Toyota also reaffirmed its commitment to Indonesia as a major production hub. As well as exports, their products are also aimed at Indonesia’s growing domestic demand.
Toiletries and Home Products giant P&G said it had experienced a double-digit growth in Indonesian demand for its products, which it will meet with a new local plant and office building to manufacture the Gillette, Pantene and Olay product ranges.
Korea’s Samsung C&T said it will invest US$150-200 million in a 50 megawatt solar power plant, after conducting feasibility studies into possible locations in Java, Bali or elsewhere.
Meanwhile Toyota, which has already exported 225,382 complete vehicles via its local subsidiary PT Toyota Astra Motor (TAM) since 1987, says Indonesian domestic demand is growing rapidly and may reach 1 million units a year within two years. It has already sold 85,494 units this year, a 24% increase on the same period in 2010, and has a 37.9% share of the Indonesian market.
TAM President Johnny Darmawan said his company intends to make Indonesia a major manufacturing base, but also sounded the familiar call for increased commitment from the government in the form of road, port and power improvements and reliable human resource skills.
Business Times has this article by Abdul Rahman Mamat (Malaysia’s secretary-general of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry) on how Malaysia is building its knowledge economy through the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry. Trying to compete with neighbors on labor costs won’t work as the economy grows; instead Malaysia’s strategy is to move up the value chain to application research & development, and design.
Under the government’s Economic Transformation Program (ETP) announced last week, the E&E industry will increase Gross National Income from today’s RM37 billion (US$12 billion) to RM90 billion by 2020, creating 150,000 skilled jobs in the process. It would prefer Malaysia moves away from being mere assemblers and testers and advises companies to not be concerned as lower-level jobs move to other countries.
Both local and international companies can work together in clusters to produce more positive results. Abdul lists a number of multinational companies as examples: in electronics, MEMC Electronics Material, Intel, Altera, Osram, Agilent and Infineon Technologies have “enhanced their operations”, as well as Agilent and Motorola.
The government sees solar technology as a major growth opportunity. Malaysia’s mature semiconductor design and manufacturing industry has seen advanced producers of LEDs and solar photovoltaic cells move to the country. This new energy technology industry is growing by 20% annually and Malaysia aims to become the world’s third-largest PV cell producer by 2011. Companies like First Solar, Q-Cells, SunPower, Tokuyama, Osram, Fuji, Rohm-Wako and Nichia have all arrived in Malaysia over the past three years.
Malaysia’s existing industries can also play a large part in providing reliable and quality materials supply, manpower and logistics. The challenge is to ensure these indirectly-related companies to maintain their competitive quality edge and convince them that this new technology indeed has a worldwide demand and will benefit the economy overall. The government is also concerned about the amount of talent available, and is working on training in both the industry and other educational institutions to build the skills necessary.
RM78 billion (US$25.3 billion) will be spent on the Malaysian E&E industry between now and 2020, with 88% of that total coming from the private sector.
source & article: Business Times
More investment is flowing into Malaysia’s technology hardware sector, with a new plant announced by hard drive manufacturer Western Digital and a joint venture between AU Optronics (Taiwan) and SunPower (USA) to produce solar panels.
Western Digital, who already operate four plants across Malaysia, has promised to invest a further $US1.2 billion over the next five years. Its new research and development (R&D) and manufacturing facility in Penang is scheduled to open in Q3 2011. Meanwhile, AU Optronics will take a 50% share in a $700 million solar panel manufacturing operation expeced to start mass production in Q4 2010 (exact location not announced).
AUO’s partner, SunPower, is the largest commercial and residential manufacturer of solar panels in the USA, and the Taiwanese government estimates the industry will be worth $6.25 billion by 2020.
Both projects offer great benefits to Malaysia’s economy not only by increasing employment, but also by raising skills further in areas like R&D, high tech manufacturing and electronics engineering.