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‘Malaysia can benefit from semiconductor supply chain disruption’

Malaysian semiconductor companies are in a position to benefit from supply chain disruptions that arise from China-Taiwan tensions, driven by oppor-tunities for collaboration and outsourcing manufacturing, said Malaysia Semi-conductor Industry Association (MSIA) president Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai.

Wong pointed out that Taiwan and China are major global semiconductor hubs. If the tension between them escalates, it will affect the global semiconductor supply chain, and Malaysia’s chip industry .

“The supply chain is very complex. There are about 50 economies around the world involved in the semiconductor supply chain, so even a company buys from 15 companies, (comprising) a combination (of markets in the supply chain). Some of them will come from China and some of them will come from Taiwan. So disruption is (to be) expected but, currently, we are not there yet, we are only talking about assumptions,” he told SunBiz.

Wong foresees that Taiwan and China companies will continue to expand to Malaysia despite the tension, because of risks that need to be mitigated by both parties in the event that the situation causes disruption of the global supply chain.

“(They will) continue to do this, where they see there is a risk that needs to be mitigated, they will go (to other places), both Taiwan and China. Malaysia will hopefully be the winner. If they don’t buy up our companies or build new factories then they will outsource their manufacturing to Malaysian companies,” he opined.

Wong remarked that there has been many investments and expansions in chip assembly and testing into Malaysia by major companies such as Intel, TF-AMD, Inari and Unisem. These companies will require factories to do packaging and testing, which will benefit Malaysia’s semiconductor industry.

“If it’s assembly test, all assembly test companies are expanding in Malaysia … for those which are here, they are expanding facilities and if five or 10 fabrications are going to open up and they are going to run, they need factories to do packaging and testing. So, that part we will benefit.

“There are a lot of opportunities for Malaysia to work with Taiwan as well as China companies, in areas of technology, manufacturing and supply chain. There are a lot of opportunities. So it’s a matter of accessing where these opportunities are and what is relevant to Malaysia. At the same time, it’s a win-win (situation). China needs this, I can provide this (and) collaborate. Same thing with Taiwan because this fear of inability to ship to customers needs to be addressed … (there needs to be) a strategy to ship your products all over the world,” Wong said.

An analyst said most companies have already repositioned their supply chains to navigate the situation, which should bode well for Malaysia, especially in the backend and electronics manufacturing service segments.

The analyst foresees that equipment makers (backend for Malaysia, specifically) should continue “to have a good time” as more capacity is built around Asean. Most companies will also continue to expand geographically.

Asked if Malaysia will be able to benefit from this tense situation, he said that in the event of any escalation, new capacity will have to be built elsewhere in order to fulfil global demand.

“The key concern is that the supply chain will be disrupted again. While new capacity is being built elsewhere, it takes time, so any near-term tension could cause companies to be unable to produce their goods (similar to the situation in 2020/2021 when demand for automotive/personal computers/laptops was solid but it was difficult to fulfil the demand).

“For the time being, equipment makers and backend companies and the ecosystem supporting these sub-segments continue to have a strong order outlook. Demand from auto/server/data centre is pretty much the last segments standing, from a demand perspective, so as long as there isn’t a major decline in outlook, most companies should still be well positioned for growth,” he said.

Recently, there have been a number of semiconductor-related investments into Malaysia, such as Infineon (RM8 billion), Intel (RM30 billion over the next 10 years), Nexperia (RM1.6 billion by 2026) and TF-AMD (RM2 billion).

Source: The Sun Daily

‘Malaysia can benefit from semiconductor supply chain disruption’


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Malaysia’s aerospace industry accumulated RM104.7 million worth of investments and a total trade of RM13.84 billion last year.

Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said despite the challenging economic landscape and operating environment for the past two years, the country’s aerospace industry has remained competitive and resilient.

He added that Malaysian companies secured a further RM572.6 million worth of business deals in last month’s Farnborough International Airshow 2022.

He also noted that RM2 billion worth of manufacturing work packages and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) business has been awarded to the local aerospace industry during the pandemic.

“This includes RM600 million worth of MRO expansion projects which are expected to be implemented by the fourth quarter of 2022 (4Q22),” he said during the opening ceremony of Malaysia Aerospace Summit 2022 (MyAERO’22) in Kuala Lumpur today.

According to Mohamed Azmin, Malaysia’s trade and investment performance has been on an upward trajectory and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is confident the momentum will stay on course.

He said nonetheless, the country should be vigilant of the headwinds and downside risks due to external global developments such as inflation, disruptions to global supply chain and logistics as well as uncertainties arising from geopolitical tensions.

In this, he said his ministry will focus on three broad areas — trade and sustainable development, supply chain resiliency and human capital development — in terms of policy direction and strategic initiatives in the near term.

“MITI will do its utmost to accelerate the growth of the aerospace industry with the introduction of various initiatives currently being implemented under the 12th Malaysia Plan, including enhancing high-skilled employment and propelling economic growth that will be in coherence with the three focus areas,” he said.

Additionally, Mohamed Azmin also noted that under the Malaysian Aerospace Industry Blueprint, Malaysia aims to become South-East Asia’s top aerospace nation by 2030, thus, emerging as an integral part of the global aerospace supply chain.

He said the blueprint targets a total revenue of RM55.2 billion and the creation of upwards of 32,000 high-income jobs.

The senior minister also added that MITI has established the formation of the Sustainable Aviation Energy Task Force, which will provide policy recommendations and coordinate public-private partnership national projects to achieve the said target.

He said national oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd has agreed to join on this journey, as this includes the production of sustainable aviation fuel in Malaysia.

On the strong ramp-up requirements of Airbus SE and Boeing Co, Mohamed Azmin highlighted that it is a great opportunity for the country’s supply chain to achieve new levels of competitiveness.

He also said it is imperative to keep the supply chains resilient, open and dynamic moving forward.

“As our Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies are growing from strength to strength, I urge the lower-tier suppliers to meet the complete value chain outsource requirements to secure long-term sustainability.

“I am encouraged to hear that companies like Curge Advance Sdn Bhd and Micron Concept Engineering Sdn Bhd are rising to this challenge and encourage more to do so.

“MITI will continue engaging with the original equipment manufacturers to encourage workflow to Malaysia and further boost the industry,” he noted.

MyAERO’22 is organised by the National Aerospace Industry Coordination Office, MITI in collaboration with the Social Security Organisation, Institution of Engineers Malaysia and Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre.

The summit featured aerospace exhibition, career fair and industry seminar focusing on Digital Transformation and Innovation towards a Sustainable Aerospace Ecosystem.

The summit also gathered stakeholders in the aerospace industry highlighting the potential and current capabilities of the Malaysian aerospace industry ecosystem and providing the platform for subject matter experts to share and promote industry competency development.

Source: The Malaysian Reserve

Aerospace industry captured RM105m investments in 2021, says MITI


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OKA Corp Bhd’s subsidiary Oka Concrete Industries Sdn Bhd has inked a deal to acquire a tract of vacant land in Mukim Senai in Kulai, Johor, for RM14.24mil.

In its filing with Bursa Malaysia, the manufacturer of pre-cast concrete products said the land measures 3.5764ha and is adjacent to the present Oka Concrete Industries factory in Senai.

It named the vendors of the land as Hoe Siew Meng and Hoe Teck How.

The group said the property will be used by Oka Concrete Industries for the expansion of its operations in anticipation of future business growth in the southern region.

“The proximity of the property to the existing operations was a factor in the decision to acquire the property in preference to alternative sites,” it said.

The proposed acquisition is proposed to be funded by internally generated funds and/or bank borrowings of Oka Concrete Industries.

Source: The Star

Oka Corp acquires Kulai land for expansion


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RGT Bhd is spending RM100mil to expand its manufacturing facilities and machinery as well as purchase new companies for its automation segment this year.

Group chief executive officer Datuk S.H. Lim said the group had expanded the production floor of the hygiene care and automation segments.

“The extended production with its new manufacturing facilities is now awaiting qualification from customers. The lines should commence production before the end of 2022,” he told StarBiz.

The group’s hygiene care business generates 90% of its revenue, while the automation segment contributes the remaining 10%.

“The hygiene care revenue contribution should adjust to 70% while that of the automation segment to 30% by 2025.

“The hygiene care revenue will continue to rise, but the quantum of revenue contribution increase from the automation segment will be higher,” he said.

The group’s hygiene care production floor is now 80,000 sq ft after the expansion, compared to 30,000 sq ft.

In addition to the extended production floor, there are a new warehouse and additional floor space to accommodate the plastic injection moulding machine and offices.

“For the hygiene care division, the washroom dispenser manufacturing has the most substantial growth potential. There are many big players in the United States and Europe with global presence.

“Currently, we have in the pipeline new US customers involved in the hygiene care business, who are bigger than Rubbermaid, a major customer of the group,” he said.

RGT’s extended production floor built-up is now 52,000 sq ft, after the group extended it by 32,000 sq ft.

The built-up area is now three times larger than the previous factory.

“With this additional capacity, we will be able to cater for the other customers in Batu Kawan Industrial Park, Kulim and Penang Science Park.

“Currently, there are new factories in Penang requiring automation and precision parts and components.

“The new notable larger customers in Penang include Intel, Lam Research, Micron, Dexcom, VAT, AT&S, Flextronics, Jabil, Bosch and Boston Scientific. We have already started to supply to some of these multinationals.

The global personal hygiene market is expected to exhibit a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% from 2022 to 2027, according to renowned market research house IMARC.

“Innovative and natural ingredient-based personal care products for both men and women that are chemical-free and environment-friendly are driving the global personal hygiene market.

“The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has further led to the widespread adoption of personal hygiene products to prevent and minimise the spread of the coronavirus, thereby contributing to the market growth,” the IMARC report said.

According to a Research and Markets report, the global industrial automation market is expected to grow from US$164.74bil (RM732bil) in 2021 to US$178.88bil (RM795bil) in 2022 at a CAGR of 8.6%.

Source: The Star

RGT to expand manufacturing facilities


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UMW Group is disposing of 140 acres (56.66 hectares) of land at the UMW High Value Manufacturing Park (UMW HVM Park) in Serendah to LONGi (Kuching) Sdn Bhd for RM304.92 million.

Shanghai Stock Exchange-listed LONGi is the world’s largest manufacturer of monocrystalline silicon wafers.

In a statement on Wednesday (Aug 31), UMW Group said its unit UMW Development Sdn Bhd inked the deal on Tuesday.

The group said the 861-acre UMW HVM Park site offers secured and integrated Industry 4.0 infrastructure and technologies.

It said the park also integrates sustainability into its design, embedding environment-friendly and energy-efficient technologies and solutions.

LONGi is the largest producer of solar cells in Malaysia.

The purchase of land at the UMW HVM Park is part of its plan to expand its operations and increase the production volume to cater to growing demand.

UMW Development Sdn Bhd group director Eric Chew Kar Kean said that at present, about 84% of the UMW HVM Park’s southern zone has been taken up, with 40 companies committed to setting up their manufacturing operations at the park.

“We are also ready to support their automation requirements by working closely with UMW Group to provide the required products, services and solutions,” he said.

UMW Holdings Bhd president and group chief executive officer Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Kenali said the addition of LONGi exemplifies the growing number of advanced manufacturing companies interested in setting up operations at the UMW HVM Park, which is also home to UMW Aerospace Sdn Bhd — Malaysia’s first Tier 1 fan case supplier to Rolls-Royce.

Source: The Edge Markets

UMW disposes of 140 acres of land in Serendah to LONGi for RM304.9m


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The electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure development guidelines under the Electricity Supply Act 1990 (Act 447) will be enforced in the fourth quarter of 2022 (4Q22), said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said a legal regulatory framework will be established for the safety of the development of EV charging infrastructure, so that aspects of public and user safety are preserved and guaranteed.

“I would also like to inform you that Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), in collaboration with Mysuri Biz Technologies Sdn Bhd, will provide 1,000 units of EV taxis, in support of the country’s decarbonisation efforts. 

“The involvement of GLCs (government-linked companies) such as TNB needs to be intensified to support the development of the country’s EV industry,” he said during the launch of the 5th International Sustainable Energy Summit 2022 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Monday (Aug 29).

The summit is a joint collaboration by the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

SEDA was established in September 2011 under the SEDA Act 2011 (Act 726), with the key purpose of driving the renewable energy and energy efficiency agenda in the country.

The summit will engage in intellectual discussions that include envisioning the future of the electricity market to achieve the Government’s aspirational renewable energy target of 31% by 2025, and 40% by 2035, in the national installed capacity mix.

Source: The Edge Markets

EV infrastructure development guidelines to be enforced in 4Q22, says PM


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Dagang Nexchange Bhd’s (Dnex) plans to build a new 12-inch wafer fabrication facility in Malaysia in a joint effort with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd or Foxconn remain in progress.

The company’s group managing director Tan Sri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said in a statement that discussions were ongoing with the relevant stakeholders, including the Malaysian government, for this purpose.

“The 12-inch wafer fab will be the first of its kind in Malaysia, and second in South-East Asia after Singapore. The fab’s 28nm node is a long-life Tier One Technology node with the most advanced technology under the planar transistor technology that will have the widest range of applications,” he said.

For its fourth quarter ended June 30, 2022 (4Q22), Dnex recorded a net profit of RM160.59mil on a revenue of RM430.29mil, mainly supported by a robust contribution from the technology and energy segments.

There is no comparative 4Q21 results as there had been a change in the financial year-end from Dec 31 to June 30.

For the financial year 2022 (FY22), Dnex said it generated a strong net cashflow from operating activities amounting to RM643.8mil.

Its balance sheet remains solid with total cash of RM1.02bil while total loans and borrowings stood at RM319.3mil as at June 30, 2022.

“We are pleased to announce a remarkable achievement for FY22, a record-breaking financial performance of the group with a profit after tax of RM707.3mil and revenue of RM1.44bil,” he said.

Dnex’s technology business was the biggest contributor to the group at RM857.7mil, accounting for 60% of total revenue, while the energy segment under Ping Petroleum Ltd contributed RM379.6mil in revenue or 26% while its IT business accounted for the remaining RM199.9mil or 14%.

He added that transformation efforts at SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd had led to a strong turnaround in its financial performance, supported by higher average selling prices achieved and operational improvements recorded in terms of production output, quality control and manufacturing efficiency.

Syed Zainal added that SilTerra’s three long-term agreements secured with major clients will fulfil capacity utilisation to more than 70%, while expansion efforts to increase SilTerra’s annual production capacity by 10% is a work in progress and expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.

The expansion will allow the company to have more capacity for new emerging technologies such as micro-electromechanical systems or MEMS and silicon photonics devices, which command higher average selling prices.

Commenting on its energy segment, Syed Zainal said crude oil prices are expected to remain elevated on the back of a tight supply outlook due to bans by the European Union on Russian oil exports.

Ping has taken delivery of the Sevan Hummingbird floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel and will be deployed at Ping’s second oilfield asset, Avalon Oil Development in the Central North Sea, United Kingdom.

Ping aims to connect the FPSO to a dedicated floating offshore wind turbine to power the facility, thus minimising diesel and fuel gas usage as well as associated greenhouse gas emissions in UK waters.

Renamed as Excalibur, the FPSO has a storage capacity of 270,000 barrels of oil and is capable of producing up to 30,000 barrels of oil per day.

Meanwhile Dnex formed a joint venture company with Saudi Arabia-based Ajlan & Bros Holding Group to explore and identify opportunities in driving economic growth in high-value areas such as Digital, Cloud, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (“4IR”) in the kingdom and the Middle East and North Africa markets.

Dnex has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Ajlan & Bros to explore the establishment of a packaging and assembly plant in Saudi Arabia and a potential participation by the group in Dnex’s plan to build and equip the new 12-inch wafer fab here.

Source: The Star

Dnex-Foxconn new wafer fab facility on track


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The formulation of a national environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework for the manufacturing sector is in the works, in line with Malaysia’s net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050, said Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry (Miti) Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

He said the ESG framework will be formulated based on consultation and engagement with local and international stakeholders involved in the manufacturing, regulatory and financial sectors.

“Miti will provide a framework to mainstream ESG elements for the manufacturing sector which will include four main components, namely ESG standards, financial support and incentives, capacity building, and market mechanisms including carbon trading and carbon pricing,” he said in a statement after Miti’s Dialogue Sessions on Aug 25, 2022.

The senior minister noted that the progress of the framework would be dependent on the level of achievement in engagement and collaboration with stakeholders.

“Along with the National Investment Aspirations (NIA) goals, Miti will intensify its focus on sectors such as the digital economy, electrical and electronic, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and aerospace that have significant economic potential and sustainable long-term benefits,” he said.

This annual dialogue series is an initiative by Miti based on a consultative approach with stakeholders towards holistic formulation and review of policies to drive the country’s economic growth via increased international trade, sustainable industrial development and quality investment.

The robust and fruitful dialogue sessions saw the participation of 12 ministries and 151 organisations.

Miti had received 96 memorandums covering 24 categories out of a total of 396 issues submitted along with motions for the government’s consideration.

On the challenges posed by the current geopolitical and geo-economic dynamics, Mohamed Azmin said: “Indeed, while global inflationary forces are beyond our control, it remains our resolve to ensure that we progress in terms of productivity and competitiveness.

“These are fundamental factors which we can rely on as long as we have the courage and conviction to succeed.”

In tackling the issue of foreign workers, the senior minister underscored the imperative for a long-term solution in order for the domestic industry to reduce and eventually eliminate its dependence on low-skilled labour.

He also urged the manufacturing sector, especially small and medium enterprises, to continue investing and adopting advanced manufacturing technologies to increase productivity and reduce the cost of doing business.

The senior minister assured dialogue participants that Miti will remain steadfast and fully committed to working together with the industry and entrepreneurs in addressing the challenges toward further strengthening Malaysia’s economic recovery and reinforcing the nation as a global trading powerhouse.

Some of the recommendations highlighted in the Miti Dialogue will be extended for the consideration of the Ministry of Finance in the formulation of Budget 2023.

Source: Bernama

National ESG framework for manufacturing sector in the works


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Taiwan Superconductor International Semiconductor Technology Co Ltd is keen to turn MQ Technology Bhd into an emerging semiconductor giant.

MQTech said Taiwan Superconductor had offered to buy up to 30 per cent stake in the company via participation in a forthcoming corporate exercise.

“The type of corporate exercise and quantum of Taiwan Superconductor’s investment sum shall be negotiated and agreed upon by both parties. With the proceeds from the corporate exercise, Taiwan Superconductor will assist and provide technical know-how to MQTech to expand its semiconductor operation in Malaysia,” MQTech said in a statement on Friday.

Taiwan Superconductor chief executive officer Professor Liu Chien-Lung said it had chosen to invest in MQTech as the latter was currently the smallest semiconductor company listed in Malaysia.

“(MQTech is) most accommodative as compared to the larger players such as Coraza, SFPTEch and Cnergenz. It will be interesting to see how we grow MQTech into a semiconductor giant in the next few years,” Liu said in the statement.

“We want MQTech to turn into a key world market materials supplier and focus on third generation semiconductors, while establishing a vertically integrated industry chain, and develop fourth generation semiconductors,” he added.

Liu will be flying in from Taiwan and has made an appointment to finalise the proposed deal with the directors of MQTech on Sept 20-21 this year.

MQTech managing director Tong Sian Shyen said with the commitment and support of fresh capital plus semiconductor technology transfer from the Taiwanese semiconductor player, MQTech would be able to grow a lot faster than previously.

“In fact, we announced yesterday a modest profit of RM1.3 million for the quarter ended June 30 2022,” Tong added.

If the stake sales materialised, Taiwan Superconductor will help MQTech expand its semiconductor plant under three phases.

Phase One will take about one to three years, with the required workforce of 200. Overall, the expansion will need up to 500 for the three phases.

Source: NST

Taiwan semiconductor firm wants to turn MQTech into “emerging giant”


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Australia’s The Arnott’s Group (TAG), a multinational food manufacturer and producer of Prego and Kimball, has launched its Asia hub in Kuala Lumpur in line with its expansion plans to become the regional powerhouse.

TAG is targeting double-digit growth over the next five years in Asia and annual revenue of RM2.5 billion in 10 years. Its Asian business currently contributes over RM1 billion annually, a quarter of total annual turnover.

TAG managing director (Asia) May Lim said it chose KL as its hub as the city is strategically located and is a natural springboard into Asian markets as well as the availability of skilled talent and supportive government policies.

“We are looking at a three-stage growth plan, and KL is at the top of the shortlist to be the epicentre of our expansion. Malaysia is the world’s leading halal hub, and we intend to drive halal certification for brands in our new manufacturing hub, which will be exported worldwide,” she said at the launch event today.

TAG’s three-stage expansion plans include A$50 million (RM155 million) investment in a manufacturing hub and recruitment of over 200 talents in high-valued and high technology jobs; development of a supply chain hub to consolidate all procurement, logistics, engineering, and site management; and a research and development hub.

TAG is still in active discussions with the Malaysian government to get the approval of the plans.

Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali who launched the hub, said the investment fortifies Malaysia’s position as the investment location of choice, underpinned by the ease of doing business, robust infrastructure, vibrant business ecosystem, and dynamic talent.

“The group’s expansion plans in high-tech and high-value activities will create positive economic opportunities for the business community, ecosystem, and Malaysians – in line with the National Investment Aspirations, which prioritise state-of-the-art, cutting-edge technology and global environmental, social and governance standards,” he added.

InvestKL CEO Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli said Malaysia stands to benefit from the positive economic value and spillover, complementing its transformation into a digitally enabled and technology-driven nation.

Additionally, Malaysian Investment Development Authority CEO Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman said the decision to house TAG’s Asia Hub in Malaysia is a vote of confidence these multinationals have in Malaysia as a nation.

“Malaysia is an emerging global food producer and a leader in the world’s halal industry. We are a haven for over 300 international food brands and processed food producers due to our strategic location in Asean, conducive investment climate, skilled and trainable workforce, strong trade relations and cost advantages – possibly one of the easiest places for businesses to incorporate in the region,” he added.

Source: The Sun Daily

The Arnott’s Group chooses Kuala Lumpur as Asia Hub


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Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, during his visit to Turkish Aerospace Industry (TAI) here today, expressed hope that Malaysia, too, someday will be able to acquire the technology owned by Turkiye’s leading aerospace industry player. 

His Majesty, who expressed his pleasure over the visit and admiration for TAI’s technology, also hoped for closer cooperation between both countries, particularly in aircraft manufacturing and research and development (R&D) in the future. 

“This is my first visit to TAI, and I observed there are many types of aircraft and also R&D done… and I am impressed. I was told that some of our young Malaysians have been learning the technology here. 

“They (TAI) have made great advances in terms of technology and I have lots of hope that they will be able to collaborate with Malaysia on this,” His Majesty said at the end of the TAI visit. 

Earlier, Al-Sultan Abdullah witnessed an air show that featured locally manufactured aircraft developed by TAI, including the T129 ATAK and Gokbey helicopters, the Anka and Aksungur unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and the Hurkus training aircraft. 

Al-Sultan Abdullah then tried his hands at handling a TAI aircraft simulator.  

TAI prior to this had expressed interest in collaborating and developing the Malaysian aerospace industry by bringing in original equipment manufacturing (OEM) expertise to Malaysia.

It plans to set up a production factory for aerospace products such as jets, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles in Malaysia within a year and make it a base for the Asia Pacific region.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is on a seven-day state visit to Turkiye that began on Monday (Aug 15). 

Meanwhile, during the same programme, His Majesty met and mingled with a group of Malaysian students studying in Turkiye, including seven who are undergoing practical training in TAI. 

The seven from Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) are pursuing aerospace studies at UniKL’s Banting branch in Selangor and are the first group from the university to undergo practical training at TAI.

One of them, Ihsan Jamal, 25, told Bernama that he hopes to be able to use the knowledge and experience gained throughout his month-long stint at TAI in the workplace someday. 

The final-year student said he has had the opportunity to gain some insights into the development process of TAI’s aircraft. 

“We studied aircraft owned by TAI right from the design stage to the assembling of aircraft components, all in one building.

“In addition, we also learned how TAI developed their aircraft for safe flying,” he said.

Source: Bernama

King impressed with technology at Turkish aerospace industry


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Sarawak Petchem Sdn Bhd’s methanol plant in Tanjung Kidurong, Bintulu, is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2024.

The project has achieved about 60% overall progress, according to company chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain.

He said Sarawak Petchem had secured RM4bil under sukuk programme to fund the project, which was originally estimated to cost RM8bil.

Sarawak Petchem awarded the construction of the plant to Samsung Engineering Co Ltd for US$1.07bil (RM4.78bil) in 2020.

The project marked a milestone with the delivery and site installation of one of the modules last week.

The methanol plant, the pioneer project in the Sarawak Petrochemical Hub, will have production capacity of 1.75 million tonnes per annum.

State-owned Sarawak Petchem has earlier signed a sale and purchase agreement with PETRONAS Chemicals Marketing (Labuan) Ltd (PCML) to market methanol for 20 years, with an option for further extension.

PCML is the marketing arm of Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd, which is the largest methanol producer in Asia-Pacific and the fourth-largest producer in the world with an annual production capacity of 2.4 million tonnes per annum.

Sarawak Petchem is expected to receive 168 million standard cu ft of natural gas per day from the Bintulu Additional Gas Sales Facility 2 (BAGSF-2) project for the feedstock of the methanol plant.

Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg performed the earth-breaking ceremony for the BAGSF-2 project in Tanjung Kidurong last week.

The project is a joint collaboration between Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PETRONAS) and SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd.

According to PETRONAS president Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik, the BAGSF-2 project is designed with a capacity of 390 million cu ft per day of natural gas, and is scheduled to come on stream in 2023.

Tengku Muhammad said BAGSF-2 will deliver 70 million standard cu ft of gas per day to Sarawak Energy besides supplying 168 million standard cu ft of gas per day to Sarawak Petchem.

The facility will include its own dedicated administrative building, processing area, metering station and related utilities.

To faciliate the export of the methanol, a methanol jetty will be built within Bintulu Port’s water limits.

Last week, Sarawak PetChem inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bintulu Port Authority (BPA) and Bintulu Port Sdn Bhd (BPSB) to jointly collaborate on the setting up and operation of the methanol jetty.

The signatories for the MoU were Sarawak Petchem project director Mohammad Ibrahim, BPA general manager Mizool Amir Mat and Bintulu Port Holdings Bhd group chief executive officer Datuk Mohammad Medan Abdullah, who signed for BPSB.

The MoU covers 10 key areas of collaboration on the safe operations of the methanol jetty in relation to health, safety, security and environment, the establishment of marine services and jetty management system and provision of technical advisory and support.

The jetty will be used for the loading and export of Sarawak Petchem’s liquid methanol products.

Abdul Aziz said the realisation of the methanol plant project and the setting up of the Sarawak Petrochemical Hub by Sarawak State Economic Corp would be the catalyst for further growth of the state’s downstream petrochemical activities.

He said the petrochemical hub would not only be relying on methanol-based derivatives but also on other renewable energy projects to support Sarawak’s green energy agenda.

“I am confident that this methanol project will play its role in transforming Sarawak into a high-income economy by 2030,” he added.

Source: The Star

Sarawak Petchem methanol project on track


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Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) and AFY Mobility Industries Sdn Bhd (AMI) are collaborating to introduce a locally produced motorcycle brand to the Malaysian market by the third quarter of next year (Q3 2023) under the AM-2 Project.

Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said the collaboration will take Mara to another level, especially in the national technology and motoring industry.

He said that the collaboration would offer industrial training placement opportunities to Mara’s Technical Education and Vocational Training students through practical training conducted by AMI’s experts, using the “Teaching Factory” concept.

“Cooperation from the research aspect has already started with the development of a Product Development Centre for the purpose of research and development (R&D), involving a combination of expertise from the AMI R&D team and the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI),” he said.

Mahdzir said this to reporters during a press conference after the launch of the AM-2 development project  here today.

He said the collaboration will also help to accelerate Mara’s vendor and skilled workforce development process as well as its R&D efforts, and will boost the development of Bumiputera vendors and entrepreneurs which will indirectly create job opportunities for the locals.

 The collaboration also includes strategic investments to develop the Malaysian motorcycle brand and production hub for the Asia Pacific and domestic markets.

AMI group executive chairman Ahmad Faez Yahaya said the project had started in 2020, focusing on the production of underbone (kapcai) motorcycles and scooters.

“The production will be carried out at our factory in Shah Alam, and we will also set up another factory in one of the northern states,” he said.

He added that the company aims to secure a five per cent share of the local motorcycle market of about 670,000 units per year.

Source: Bernama

Mara, AMI to introduce new local motorcycle brand in Q3 2023


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Kedah is set to become the main exporter of melamine for Southeast Asia by 2024 with the commissioning of Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd’s (PCG) first melamine production plant here.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor said the plant, the first of its kind in Malaysia, can produce 60,000 tonnes of melamine per annum, making PCG the sole melamine producer in the Southeast Asian region.

“I extend my gratitude to Petronas Chemical for setting up this melamine production plant, which will create jobs and support the state’s economic growth.

“I am told that the plant will create 100 jobs in production operations besides creating other jobs in the supporting supply chain,” he said at the project launch at the Petronas Chemicals Fertiliser Kedah Sdn Bhd (PCFK) complex, here today.

Present was PCG managing director and chief executive officer, Mohd Yusri Mohamed Yusof.

Melamine is a chemical product used for laminating, wood adhesives, moulding compounds, surface coatings, and paper and textile treating applications.

Sanusi said Malaysia currently imports melamine produced in China. He said PCG’s investment showed their confidence in the potential of the Gurun Industrial Area.

“We will be focusing on the development in Gurun as it has the potential to become the second largest industrial area in Kedah after Kulim.

“The Gurun Industrial Park was developed about the same time as the Kulim industrial area since 1996 but as we can see today, the Kulim Hi-Tech Park is developing rapidly.

“However, this area (Gurun) has the potential to be developed further as the second largest industrial area after Kulim,” he added.

Meanwhile, Yusri gave his assurance that the chemical plant’s operations were safe and will have minimal effects on the environment.

“We will ensure that this project and any other projects undertaken by the company comply with the health, safety and environmental regulations.

“We have acquired the necessary standards that have been set,” he said.

He added that the project would diversify PCG’s portfolio. By being the only melamine producer in the region, PCG would be able to meet the demand for melamine in domestic and regional markets.

Source: NST

Kedah to become main exporter of melamine for Southeast Asia


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Proton Holdings Bhd said there is a possibility that 2022 total industry volume (TIV) will hit 680,000 units, higher than Malaysian Automotive Association’s (MAA) latest estimates, going by strong outstanding bookings received by its original equipment manufacturers (OEM), according to Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah.

Recently, MAA revised its forecast for 2022 TIV to 630,000 units from a previously estimated 600,000 units, due to a strong performance in the first half of the year.

Roslan explained that TIV is expected to rise to 680,000 units based on high demand and outstanding bookings received by June 30, due to the end of the sales and service tax (SST) excemption for passenger cars.

“Sometimes our number, on rough calculation, will be higher than MAA’s forecast … if everything is in order, based on outstanding bookings (which) the OEM have received, we could see the number go as high as 680,000. But this is still subject to the economic situation, as well as component supply,” he said at a press conference today after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pekat Group Bhd subsidiary Solaroo Systems Sdn Bhd and Proton Global Services Sdn Bhd.

Roslan said the industry is facing a microchip shortage but Proton is looking for sources, both domestically and internationally.

“We have teams looking into sources for microchips at domestic and international levels because the most important (thing) for us is to meet the demands of our customers,” he said, adding that it is confident of delivering all the units ordered during the SST exemption period by March 31 next year.

The MoU is aimed at promoting the adoption of solar photovoltaic systems (solar PV) within Proton’s ecosystem and employees as part of the national automaker’s energy sustainability initiatives.

Proton Global Services CEO Lee Yeet Chuan disclosed that the company will be investing RM5-12 million in the project, which covers 50 sites, to be completed by next year.

The partnership builds upon Pekat’s launch of a 12-megawatt-peak grid-connected solar PV system at Proton’s manufacturing plant in Tanjung Malim, Perak, which has resulted in a reduction in the latter’s carbon footprint and energy costs since March this year.

As part of the collaboration, Proton will promote the adoption of solar PV systems provided by industry suppliers by demonstrating the savings it can generate and the benefits it brings to the environment.

Source: The Sun Daily

Proton: TIV of 680,000 units this year possible


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Malaysia’s timber exports went up 13.79% to RM13.2 billion in the first six months of 2022 compared with RM11.59 billion in the corresponding period last year, due to the reopening of the economy post-pandemic and the quality of timber products that are recognised internationally.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said the timber industry is an important sector which is significant to the economic development of the country.

“In 2021, this industry recorded an export value of RM22.74 billion, where it rose to 3.27% compared to the year 2020. Until June 2022, the export value of timber products contributed RM13.19 billion which is an increase of 13.79% compared to RM11.59 billion for the same period in 2021,” she said in her speech at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between CTSC Worldwide Sdn Bhd (CWSB), a sub-subsidiary of Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB), and seven stakeholders today.

MTIB director general Kamaruzaman Othman said he is cautiously optimistic on the furniture industry this year due to it having good potential and believes that it will be slightly better than before. However, he remains cautious of headwinds driven by a fluid economy and issues such raw materials and worker shortage faced by the industry.

“Outlook as of now, with the reopening of most the economy after the Covid-19 (pandemic), should be better. Even if you look at our statistics for the first six months, we have (recorded) an increase of 13% over the same period last year. So, if you go by that trend, there should be a better outcome than this year but of course the economy is still very fluid, we do not know what’s going to happen.

“But there is light at the end. We have good potential but we have to deal with certain issues, especially in the furniture industry, we have these issues like perennial issues (such as) raw materials, workers (shortage). If we can mitigate this problem, we should be doing slightly better than the past.

“We (cannot) be too optimistic because we do not know what’s going to happen with the world economy because our industry is very much dependant on the world economy. We are doing mostly for exports, so its very much open to external factors (such as recession). We really have to see the economic figures (and) numbers to at least say for sure. I am cautiously optimistic,” he said.

The stakeholders that signed the MoU include Universiti Putra Malaysia, MYTeakwood Holdings Sdn Bhd and Green Afforestation International Network Sdn Bhd. The MoU is for the construction of a prototype house using Paulownia cross laminated timber with ready-to-install system.

Source: The Sun Daily

Malaysia’s timber exports in first-half 2022 climb to RM13.2b


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Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) will supply natural gas to Sarawak Petchem Sdn Bhd (SPSB) and Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) from next year with the development of a gas delivery facility in Tanjung Kidurong.

The Bintulu Additional Gas Sales Facility (BAGSF-2), sited on 70 hectares of land with its own dedicated administration building, processing area, metering stations and utilities, is designed with a capacity to deliver up to 390 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd), Petronas said in a statement.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg officiated the groundbreaking ceremony for the facility here, today.

The facility will deliver 160 mmscfd of natural gas to a Sarawak Government-owned methanol plant, currently under construction at Tanjung Kidurong, and which will be operated by SPSB.

Another 70 mmscfd will be supplied to SEB’s Tanjung Kidurong Power plant while the remaining capacity will be supplied to future customers.

Petronas president and group chief executive officer Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Kamadjaja Aziz said the development of BAGSF-2 marked another significant milestone in the national oil company’s commitment to working together with the Sarawak government for the sustainable growth of its oil and gas industry.

“Once onstream, BAGSF-2 will create new value-adding activities for Sarawak’s hydrocarbon resources, supporting the state’s aspiration for its petrochemicals and domestic power industry.

“We look forward to building on the strong partnership with the state government in developing Sarawak’s resources for the mutual prosperity of the state and the nation,” he said at the event.

In 2016, Petronas signed an agreement with the Sarawak government to supply a total of 450 mmscfd of natural gas to the state for power generation and state-owned petrochemical industries. Last year, the national oil company signed another Memorandum of Understanding to increase the supply to 1,200 mmscfd to Sarawak.

Petronas and the Sarawak state government also commemorated their strategic collaboration achievements in the development of the oil and gas industry in Sarawak.

The event was held on the sidelines of the Sarawak-Petronas Annual Strategic Dialogue 2022 here, which is a key platform to strengthen collaboration between Petronas and the state government in the oil and gas industry.

Through this platform, both parties are committed towards enhancing a stable, conducive business and investment environment for the industry’s sustainable growth in the state.

Also present were Petronas chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh and Deputy Premiers of Sarawak Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Source: Bernama

Petronas to supply gas to Sarawak Petchem, Sarawak Energy Bhd


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Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg foresees more collaborations with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) that could transform the state and Malaysia into a high-income economy in the future.

One of the three sectors that have been identified and which he believes has a very bright future is the production of aviation fuel. This came following his recent visit to Petronas research plant In Kidurong here.

“It is not necessary for me to reveal at the moment but let us discuss. I am sure these three sectors will transform Sarawak and Malaysia into a high-income economy,” he said when officiating the groundbreaking ceremony for the Petronas Bintulu Additional Gas Sales Facility (BAGSF-2) here on Monday (Aug 22).

The collaboration, which would use the latest technology and help control carbon emission, could better position Sarawak and Malaysia globally as far as oil and gas and renewable energy are concerned, he said.

The Premier said the construction of BAGSF-2 was proof of Petronas’ commitment in collaborating and supporting Sarawak’s aspiration to be a developed state by 2030, and as the enabler for Bintulu to be another petrochemical hub in Malaysia.

The project marked another significant milestone, not only in Sarawak’s quest to achieve its aspiration to be a developed state by 2030, but more importantly, the realisation of the state’s own vehicle to venture into the oil and  gas (O&G) industry, particularly in the downstream petrochemical sector.

“Sarawak recognises the contribution of the O&G industry to its economic growth. I am confident that BAGSF-2 will further add value to the state’s downstream business through realising the operations of Sarawak Petchem Sdn Bhd (SPSB) as the state’s major economic engine of growth in the next five- to 10 years,” said Abang Johari.

He said the initiation of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) was evident in that the state has the capability to venture into the O&G industry and its economy remained steadfast in being the third largest in the country, after Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

The BAGSF-2, which will occupy 70 hectares of land and has its own dedicated administration building, processing area, metering stations and utilities, is designed with a capacity to deliver up to 390 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd).

It will supply 160 mmscfd of natural gas to Sarawak PetChem, which is currently under construction at Tanjung Kidurong; 70 mmscfd will be supplied to Sarawak Energy Bhd’s Tanjung Kidurong power plant, while the remaining capacity is reserved for future customers.

Source: Bernama

Abang Johari expects more Sarawak, Petronas collaborations


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The government is focusing on the Sarawak Petrochemical Hub to transform the state into a petrochemical industry.

Sarawak Petchem Sdn Bhd chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain said the hub, which will be a game changer, is expected to attract investment from major players in the petrochemical industries.

“The Sarawak government has big aspirations and agenda to further develop the oil and gas sector.

“The realisation of Sarawak Methanol Plant and the establishment of the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Petrochemical Hub will be a catalyst for future growth of downstream petrochemical activities supporting Sarawak’s agenda to become a high-income economy by 2030.

“As of July 29, the overall progress of the project has achieved more than 60 per cent and at the same time has recorded more than five million safe manhours without Lost Time Injury (LTI).

“This is indeed a significant achievement considering the magnitude of the activities involving a high-risk working environment,” Abdul Aziz said at the Sarawak Petchem modules delivery and installation ceremony in Tanjung Kidurong, here, yesterday (Aug 22).

He said the project was not spared from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as it faced various challenges locally and abroad, especially on border closure and movement restrictions.

“However, we are fortunate to have full support and commitments from various authorities, stakeholders and credible contractors.”

Abdul Aziz said as the project progressed, many first achievements were also created along the way, including the first methanol plant project in Sarawak; the first large-scale modularisation project in Malaysia; the first commercial jetty adopting wave screen design in Malaysia; the first Sarawak entity accorded Sustainability Rating, and also the largest greenfield project financing issuance in recent years.

He pointed out that the hub will not only be relying on methanol-based derivatives but also on other renewable energy projects in supporting Sarawak’s green energy agenda.

“I am confident that this Sarawak methanol project will play its role in transforming Sarawak’s aspiration to become a high-income economy by 2030,” he said.

Abdul Aziz also extended his appreciation to RHB and Maybank, including the Sukuk investors for the RM4 billion Sukuk funding, as well as key partners such as Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), RAM Malaysia and EPCC Contractors for their relentless support and cooperation on the project.

Also present at the ceremony were Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, and Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Source: New Sarawak Tribune

Sarawak Petrochemical Hub to be a game changer


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The robust growth prospects in the diagnostics care market has prompted Globetronics Technology Bhd to consider diversifying into manufacturing of point-of-care diagnostics devices in the foreseeable future.

Towards this end, Globetronics is now exploring the investment potential with a a foreign company, said group chief executive officer Heng Charng Yee.

“We aim to kick off the project within the next 24 months,” she told StarBiz recently.

Globetronics is currently involved in developing and manufacturing integrated circuits, light-emitting diode components, encoders and sensors, quartz crystal products, timing devices and related products.

Sensors are the leading revenue contributor for the group.

Citing a report by Fortune Business Insights, Heng said the point-of-care diagnostics market size will rise from US$36.37bil (RM162.8bil) in 2022 to US$51.94bil (RM232.5bil) by 2029, growing at a 5.2% compounded annual growth rate or CAGR.

“The point-of-care diagnostics market has increased significantly particularly over the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“During the pandemic, key market players introduced more new products that impacted the point-of-care diagnostics device market positively,” she added.

According to the report, North America had a diagnostic care market size valued at US$14.48bil (RM64.8bil) in 2021, dominating the global market share because of rising infectious and chronic diseases among the population.

“Europe is also expected to hold the second highest position in the global market during the forecast period due to the increasing production of innovative products.

“Also, increasing government investment in research and development is expected to drive regional market growth,” the report said.

On the group’s existing business operations, Heng said: “We are planning to commence production for three new sensors over the next six to eight months.

“We have allocated about RM50mil to develop the new sensor projects.”

In addition, Globetronics also aimed to start the production of high brightness optical modules in the fourth quarter of this year.

“These optical modules are used in sensing and imaging systems of next-generation consumer electronics to produce high-brightness virtual reality displays,” Heng noted.

To date, the group’s customers have completed qualifying the prototypes of two new sensor projects.

“We will develop one of the sensor projects for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems in autonomous vehicles, which will fuel the demand for optical sensors.”

Heng said the group was now waiting for customers feedback on their forecast before it can start commercial production of the sensors.

Source: The Star

Globetronics to diversify


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Malaysia’s aerospace industry is seeing an increased number of orders for aircraft parts post Covid-19 pandemic with a strong push by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to localise the work in the country.

Malaysia Aerospace Industry Association (MAIA) president Naguib Mohd Nor said the same was being observed for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry with GE Engine Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd already achieving full pre-pandemic capacity.

He also said there was a need for more local aerospace manufacturers to meet the global demand for aircraft parts.

“As the industry recovers from the pandemic, the OEMs are pressing for higher rates of production against a landscape of high global manufacturing business casualties.”

“We have to increase the number or capacity of our suppliers to cope with this demand. There was around RM2 billion of request for quote (RFQ) throughout the Covid-19 pandemic period partly due to incumbent players in the West not being able to fulfil their obligations.”

“We’re getting more work but we need to be more competitive and be prepared for the new Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) requirements to continue winning work,” Naguib told the New Straits Times in an interview recently.

ESG is a standard to evaluate how organisations manage and respond to risks and opportunities around sustainability issues.

Naguib said the current challenge in the aerospace industry was to evolve the sub-part manufacturers who were at the lower level of the supply chain (Tier 3, Tier 4 and Tier 5) and ensure these companies were structured to be more competitive, resilient and ESG-compliant.

“Ironically, we have strong Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies manufacturing larger sub-assemblies but a significant amount of sub-parts for these are not made here.

“If we can do that, we can localise the sub-part work that we currently outsource often back to Europe and the US and increase the value-add of our country. The pressure is on now to do that.”

He added that some of the sub-component works were also currently outsourced to Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore all of whom are growing their capacity.

The reason for the outsource, said Naguib, was due to the lack of capacity and competitiveness of the SME supply chain in Malaysia. In the past, South Korean SMEs had often beaten Malaysian ones on price.

He said Malaysian SMEs were also burdened with unstable workforce issues albeit most labour associated with aerospace production are Malaysian.

“There is a need to have even less dependency on labour headcount by evolving the manufacturing processes and adopting more automation. This will reduce the physical labour content but inevitably increase the thinking content of the processes, thereby creating higher value jobs.”

Currently, MAIA is overseeing a plan to upgrade the sub-part aerospace manufacturers as well as searching for more opportunities for Malaysia to produce higher number of quality aerospace parts.

Returning from the Farnborough International Airshow 2022, Naguib said the association members had identified about RM500 million a year of new metal parts work based on the high demand for new aircraft globally.

“There is RM500 million a year of extra work that we could put into our SMEs but those SMEs and their supporting ecosystem need to be upgraded.”

“MAIA is also working with the Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Accelerator (AMRACE), Malaysia Productivity Corporation and Universiti Malaya to understand and bridge these efficiency gaps,” he added.

Meanwhile, drone technology is another sector in the aerospace industry that Malaysia can tap into with MAIA now working as part of PEMUDAH to reduce the number of days to approve a drone flight from 21 days to one day by leveraging the use of Unmanned Traffic Management systems (UTM).

Naguib said drones were previously used as a hobby as well as to take photographs and videos at various events.

However, it can now be used to provide great efficiencies to many traditional industries such as asset inspection, geographic mapping and agricultural spraying, to name a few.

“The drone industry is growing globally. This is an example of an emerging industry based on aerospace technology.”

“Can Malaysia produce this technology because of our aerospace heritage? Yes,” Naguib said, adding that drones would disrupt many other industries such as healthcare, transportation, logistics and asset management.

In April this year, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Seri Adham Baba said the government was targeting to create 100,000 employment opportunities through the drone industry worth RM50 billion by 2030.

Source: NST

Push for more local aerospace players


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Proton Holdings Bhd (Proton) today signed a general distributorship agreement (GDA) with smart Automobile Co Ltd (smart) to sell premium electric vehicles (EV) and provide services in Malaysia and Thailand.

Chairman Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar Syed Ali Rethza Albar said via the agreement, the first smart model to be sold by Proton during the first phase of the collaboration would be launched in early fourth quarter of next year. 

He said Proton and smart would able to expand their customer base and gain new revenue stream from more affluent and younger buyers in Malaysia and Thailand.

“We will also gain critical knowledge on how to market, sell and service new energy vehicles, which is a new business market for us and give better access to export markets like Thailand that has a well-established EV policy and consumer exposure.

“This also an opportunity for Proton to push the development of Automotive High Tech Valley in Tanjong Malim, Perak while creating opportunities in the national automotive ecosystem,” he said in his speech at the GDA signing ceremony here, today.

He said the experience derived from selling and service smart vehicles as well as managing the operations of an EV business would pay dividends when it comes to developing Proton’s own EV offerings. 

Syed Faisal Albar said Proton also planned to invest in a charging network and establish its own charging system for both private and public charging. 

“This includes the provision, installation, and maintenance of a charging wall box for home use while partnering with a local charging player for public charging service.

“Our public charging service plan is to cover the most popular driving routes to ease customer journeys and we need to ensure EV customers in more rural settings are served as quickly as those in more densely populated urban areas,” he said.

Proton deputy chief executive officer (CEO) Roslan Abdullah said some 10,000 smart EV units are targeted to be sold until 2027, or around 800 to 1,000 units per year in the Malaysian market.

The first EV smart model would be available in Thailand in the second half of 2024, he added.  

Meanwhile, Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd CEO Dr Li Chunrong said: “Today marks a big step for entry into the new EV market.

“The first phase of business with smart is focused on retailing but it provides us with valuable knowledge and experience not only on how to service and charge EVs but also on how to transform the way we interact with our customers.” 

Proton’s progress into this market segment would also help to drive its move towards being more environmentally-friendly in all facets of its operations as the car maker works to help Malaysia achieve its carbon neutrality target by 2050, Li added.

smart is a joint-venture between Mercedes-Benz and Geely Group, with both parties leveraging synergies in research and development, manufacturing and supply chain to develop smart into a world-leading, premium EV technology brand. 

Source: Bernama

Proton inks deal to sell Smart EVs in Malaysia, Thailand


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The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will enable wider sourcing channels for raw materials at competitive prices for the country’s petrochemical players, according to the Malaysian Petrochemicals Association (MPA).

In a statement on Wednesday (Aug 17), its president Akbar Md Thayoob said this directly improves Malaysia’s competitiveness and attractiveness as an investment destination. He said the association is confident that Malaysian producers’ interests would be safeguarded extensively through the necessary provisions in the trade agreement to add advantages in protecting domestic interests.

Hence, he said he believes that delaying the ratification of the CPTPP would expose risks of being relegated to the sidelines, as a few of the Asean neighbours have moved ahead strongly.

He said the cost and benefit analysis identified that the CPTPP offered market access opportunities to countries in which Malaysia has no free trade agreements before.

“As more countries are planning to join the group, it would enhance [and] widen market penetration opportunities for Malaysian petrochemical producers in future,’’ he said.

He said by 2023, the Malaysian petrochemicals industry would see a capacity addition of 5.5 million metric tonnes per annum, an increase of 30% from 18.1 million metric tonnes per annum, with the anticipated full running operations of the Pengerang Petrochemicals and Refining Complex.

He added that the new and other existing petrochemical plants would be able to attract foreign direct investments within the downstream sectors of the polymers, plastics, chemicals and derivatives sectors for both local and export markets in the near future.

Source: Bernama

CPTPP enables wider sourcing channels for raw materials at competitive prices, says MPA


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EP Manufacturing Bhd (EPMB) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate and venture into the business of new and used imported car distribution, in particular electric vehicles (EVs) and its localisation activity.  

In a Bursa Malaysia filing on Wednesday (Aug 17), EPMB said its unit EP 4Wheeler Sdn Bhd (EP4W) signed the deal with Cahaya Bumi Sdn Bhd.

It said EP4W is mainly involved in automotive and engineering businesses, which include the manufacturing, developing, fabricating, producing, assembling, buying, selling, importing, exporting and distributing of four wheelers and all other types of automobiles.

Meanwhile, Cahaya Bumi is one of the prominent imported used car companies in Johor.

EPMB said Cahaya Bumi has expanded its business to Kuala Lumpur in 2003 selling luxurious imported brand line-up such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce etc., with a showroom located in Muar that is able to accommodate up to 40 cars as well as a showroom in Kuala Lumpur that is able to accommodate up to 50 cars.

On the rationale for the deal, EPMB said the MOU is intended to enable EP4W and Cahaya Bumi to obtain the local exclusive distribution agent or franchise holder for the country and assembly of EVs from a reputable EV manufacturer in the form of completely built-up (CBU) and completely knocked down (CKD) units, and to establish a production and localisation plan to assemble the EVs in Malaysia.

“There will be a redefinition of the present EV market in Malaysia, and help in the innovation and the establishment of EV industry in Malaysia by bringing in the technology know-how of EVs,” it said.

At the midday break, EPMB fell 3.7% or four sen to RM1.04 with 2.94 million shares done.

Source: The Edge Markets

EP Manufacturing inks deal to venture into EV distribution


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Enra Group Bhd has proposed to diversify its existing core businesses and its subsidiaries to include the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia on Tuesday (Aug 16), the group said the proposed diversification is to source for an additional major income stream to enhance the group’s financial performance. 

Enra is principally involved in the provision of energy services, property development, and investment holdings.

“The group has determined that its existing nascent MRO services should be expanded to capture the favourable outlook for the MRO industry,” it said. 

“The management believes that the nature of MRO business activities is stable and recurring, due to continuous need for ongoing maintenance of assets to keep operations running. 

“Examples of those assets include diesel engines and generators (including ancillary and related equipment) in industries such as oil and gas (O&G), marine, industrial and agriculture.” 

The group acknowledged that its revenue for the financial year ended March 31, 2020 (FY20) to FY22 was on a declining trend, while profit before tax (PBT) was inconsistent. 

It recorded a revenue of RM62.7 million for FY22, slightly higher than RM55.3 million for FY21, but dipped from RM226.6 million for FY20. The revenue was mainly contributed by energy services, the only segment recording PBT, while the other segments saw loss before tax (LBT).

Overall, the company’s PBT was RM6.24 million for FY22, from an LBT of RM7.74 million for FY21, and a PBT of RM8.36 million for FY20.

Enra noted that the PBT for FY22 was mainly due to a one-off gain of approximately RM19.6 million recognised from the Enra Kimia divestment on Nov 30, 2021.

It also mentioned that the contribution of MRO services, under the energy services segment, which only commenced its business in 2019, was minimal in FY22.

“The proposed diversification will allow the group to capitalise on the healthy outlook for Malaysia’s MRO industry, whereby it is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of approximately 5% from 2022 to 2025. 

“Further, the total sales value of the market of MRO services will likely be positively affected by Malaysia’s forecast GDP (gross domestic product) CAGR from 2021 to 2025 of approximately 4.5% to 5.5%,” it said. 

Enra highlighted that it had collaborated with MTU Services (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (MSM) to pursue new projects and contracts in MRO services across various industries via MSMENRA Sdn Bhd.

As at July 25, Enra’s wholly-owned indirect subsidiary Enra Energy Solutions Sdn Bhd held 70% equity interest in MSMENRA, while MSM held the remaining 30%.

“Under the collaboration, the group is able to leverage on MSM, which has more than 20 years of experience in providing MRO services to the marine defence industry. 

“MSM is able to provide, among others, the technical know-how and expertise if MSMENRA undertakes any projects or contracts in the future. This will facilitate the group’s expansion in MRO business activities that are beyond its current coverage of the O&G industry,” it said. 

Enra stated that it expects to fund any financial commitment to the proposed diversification through equity financing, debt financing, and/or internally generated funds of the group.

It said it will take into consideration, among others, the gearing level and working capital requirements of the group at that point in time to determine the mode of funding.

The company has identified Enra Energy Solutions chief executive officer Ahmad Zaki Ahmad Zainuddin to lead and oversee the group’s intention to expand its current MRO services.

RHB Investment Bank has been appointed as the sole principal adviser to Enra for the proposed diversification. 

At noon break on Tuesday, Enra’s share price was unchanged at 71 sen, valuing the group at RM96.71 million. 

Sumber: The Edge Markets

Enra to diversify into MRO business


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