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Petronas Dagangan partners EPMB to roll swapping stations for two-wheel EVs

Petronas Dagangan Bhd (PDB) recently signed two tripartite memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with key industry players namely, Gentari Green Mobility Sdn Bhd (GGM), EP Blueshark Sdn Bhd (EBSB), Blueshark Holding Ltd (BHL) and Handal Indah Sdn Bhd (HISB) to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility.

These strategic partnerships will cement PDB’s critical role in the overall integrated electric mobility value chain by rolling out battery swap stations for electric two-wheelers and charging infrastructure for electric buses at Petronas stations.

Through this investment, PDB aims to support its customers’ decarbonisation efforts and meet their electric mobility needs, leveraging its capabilities and network of stations.

At the signing ceremony, PDB managing director and chief executive officer Azrul Osman Rani said that whilst the company continue to diversify its non-fuel business, and it is also intensifying efforts

into supporting electric mobility as it will allow realising the potential growth of the energy vehicle (EV) market.

“This is further solidified through the collaboration between PDB and GGM, along with EBSB, BHL and HISB, to create a more conducive ecosystem for EV users,” he said in a statement today.

The first MoU on the collaboration in the electric two-wheeler battery swapping business was signed by Azrul, EBSB executive chairman Hamidon Abdullah and BHL group chief executive officer Jeff Chong Chen Wai.

This MoU will see all parties collaborate in the business development, starting with installing battery swap stations at nine Petronas stations in two-stage pilot runs.

The parties will then explore further collaborations along the electric two-wheeler value chain.

“We are happy that PDB recognises our EV efforts and capabilities. Ours is a system-based approach to be rolled out with our key partners,” EP Manufacturing Bhd (EPMB) executive chairman Hamidon Abdullah said.

“This collaboration is about exploring the high-potential value chain ahead and how we can position ourselves and our partners to benefit from the evolving EV technology.

“We are very happy and honoured to be with PDB on this journey,” he said.

The second MoU on the collaboration in commercial electric bus charging infrastructure was signed by Azrul, GGM chief green mobility officer Shah Yang Razalli and HISB executive director Lim Chern Chuen.

Through this MoU, three Petronas stations in Johor will be installed with direct current (DC) fast EV chargers to provide opportunity charging for HISB’s electric buses serving the route and the public.

These pilot runs will provide PDB with better insights before scaling the solution into a viable business for PDB.

GGM chief operating officer M Haikal Zubir said tackling emissions from the transportation sector is an important step for Malaysia to become a low-carbon nation by 2040.

“Better and more connected public transportation will help to reduce cars on the roads.

“But equally important is for public transportation to be decarbonised. GGM is pleased to collaborate with PDB and HISB to explore the electrification of public transportation and the EV ecosystem developments required to support it.

Haikal believes this is a necessary course of action to make a meaningful impact on carbon emissions reduction for the country.

“We are excited about this partnership. These new developments will help us to explore new trends and opportunities for growth in the automotive sector, particularly in terms of electrification of mobility and primarily focusing on vehicle-based mobility solutions with a wide range of fleet management services,” Lim said.

Source: NST

Petronas Dagangan partners EPMB to roll swapping stations for two-wheel EVs

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Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the world has rapidly ventured into the digital space.

This has led to a change in trends as many businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) now digitising to remain competitive and equip themselves for the future.

At the fifth Star Outstanding Business Awards (SOBA) LAB, held at Menara Star last Friday, panellists from different industries gathered to contemplate and discuss “the way forward” for SMEs in the next year.

The event featured two panel sessions on how businesses can be more resilient and what trends businesses should look into to transform their organisations in 2023.

The first panel session, which focused on boosting economic resilience, was moderated by BDO Malaysia’s executive director of tax, David Lai, who said that while SMEs have been greatly affected by the pandemic and the recent war in Ukraine, there is still hope for a positive change next year, especially for businesses and business owners that are adaptable to change.

“The waters are choppy at the moment. We all have to be nimble and prepared to change our business models and not be stuck in one direction. We must be able to adjust.

“In the past, we would usually do our business models once a year and then stick to them. But now, we probably have to change the model every two or three months to keep up with the times.

“We have to look into new ways to modify not just the workflow, but our people and employees as well.”

SOBA 2022 sponsor RHB Bank Bhd SME Banking head Yip How Nang echoed Lai’s remarks, as he shared that although forecasts of the Malaysian economy for 2023 are not encouraging, there are still plenty of opportunities for businesses to grow.

“Every bank and institution in the country actually thinks that the economy will slow down, with continued pressure on inflation and the ringgit continuing to weaken.

“It’s not going to be a very good situation. It will be another year where all SMEs will have to consolidate and continue to persevere. But, if you are creative enough, there are always new opportunities.”

Bernard Yap, a partner at Ernst and Young Tax (EY) Consultants Sdn Bhd, maintained that positive vibe as he said that opportunities are rife and SMEs should use this chance to focus on how they can rebound in the endemic phase.

“We have to find new ways to be resilient and adapt to disruptions like the Covid-19 pandemic. Disruptions are always going to appear, so we have to know how to be receptive to them and how to embrace that disruption and move forward.

“I think it’s going to be a full year of opportunities in 2023, with liquidity in the market. So, you have to be bold and vibrant in coming up with changes to your business models, and

“I think a lot of development financial institutions and commercial banks will be there to support you in your development.”

He also added that there are multiple incentives from the government for businesses to adopt digitised and automated systems, with multiple grants in place to support businesses as they adapt to the digital economy.

PKT Logistics Group Sdn Bhd’s chief marketing officer Kuan Eu Jin said that the only way SMEs and businesses can make use of these opportunities is through proper diversification.

“If you see any opportunities for you to diversify, this would be the best time to do it, so that you can ride through one storm after another without being too dependent on a narrow segment where you don’t have any wiggle room to try to compensate when your main segment goes down.

“We are not talking about growing, but more about getting you through those trying periods. There are many segments in the economy for you to play in.”

Kuan also said that SMEs will have to put more emphasis on encouraging long-term employment of their workers, with a flux of employees occurring at blue-collar jobs and a significant labour shortage in the country.

The second panel session revolved around the topic of trends transforming the retail industry and was moderated by Asean Retail-Chains and Franchise Federation president Datuk Mike Loh, who said that SMEs will have to look at the bigger picture this coming year.

“Times have changed. Moving businesses onto a digital platform is the way to go, but we are not ready yet.

“We can’t keep focusing on our local markets alone, even though there are 33 million people in Malaysia. We have to look outward beyond borders to reach out to a much bigger consumer base by converting our businesses into digital platforms.”

Vanilla Mille Crepe Sdn Bhd chief executive officer and co-founder Nelson Liew agreed with Loh’s views as he shared that businesses should “update” themselves to the times and embrace digitalisation.

“The game has changed. The old rules are becoming more irrelevant now. So I think now is the best time to move into digital fields, reskill our employees, and make ourselves really adaptive.

“Digital payments online are definitely growing, and with the new norm of people making and paying for purchases online, you have to be open to tapping into these markets.”

Senz Marketing (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Datin Katherina Leong Hong Yin added that SMEs should learn to prioritise their digital and social media marketing efforts in order to see the best results.

“The market has been segregated into very niche markets. There are so many social media platforms available to target different demographics of consumers.

“So, brand positioning is very important because eCommerce is amazing. You have a chance to trade and sell your products all over the world.

“But you have to know what your brand is, what products you are trying to sell, and which target audience is your main target market because you cannot target everyone.”

She added that SMEs should not put all their eggs in one basket and expect immediate returns from venturing into social media platforms, as building business social media profiles usually takes time.

Digi business innovation and operations head Liew Kok Weng also said when moving towards digitisation, SMEs should take it one step at a time and focus on engagements with consumers as well.

“The basic fundamentals of the online world and eCommerce are connectivity. We even have businesses now that are mobile natives, they don’t even have an outlet or store.

“So, having a very stable and fast connection to do your business is key.”

“But eCommerce is not just about transactions online, it’s also about engagement and using the online space to engage with consumers on their shopper journey.”

SOBA 2022 is organised by Star Media Group with Credit Guarantee Corp Malaysia Bhd, Digi, PKT Logistics Group and RHB Bank as main sponsors, TalentCorp Malaysia as a co-sponsor and Matrade as the official trade promotion partner.

Supported by Bursa Malaysia, it is audited by BDO, with 988 and Suria as official media partners.

For more information on SOBA 2022, call SMG Events at 017-231-1789 or visit www.soba.com.my

Source: The Star

Adaptability and digitisation the way forward, SMEs told

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Telekosang Hydro One Sdn Bhd has reached its initial operation date (IOD) on Nov 5, 2022 to generate and supply electricity to Sabah’s power grid system.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Telekosang Hydro chief executive officer and Jentayu Sustainables Bhd executive chairman Datuk Beroz Nikmal Mirdin said Telekosang Hydro is set to be one of Malaysia’s largest run-of-river (ROR) hydropower plants and is expected to generate 245,000 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity annually.

“It has provided 1,000 job opportunities and enabled knowledge transfer of green technology to Sabah,” he said in a joint statement today.

He added that the IOD paves the way for Jentayu Sustainables to conclude its acquisition of Telekosang Hydro, supporting the group’s aspiration to be a major green energy player in the country.

The acquisition of Telekosang Hydro would enable the group to also provide ancillary services under the banner of Integrated Sustainability Solutions, such as renewable energy certificate (REC), carbon advisory and carbon management, he said.

“As a group, we will continue to advocate sustainability as the pulse of our business and in all our undertakings – including preservation and rehabilitation efforts.

“We are finalising terms and conditions for Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) to lead our restoration and reforestation exercise to ensure preservation of biodiversity surrounding the area of Telekosang Hydro,” he said.

Source: Bernama

Telekosang Hydro reaches initial ops date, set to be Malaysia’s largest river hydro plant

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ARTIFICIAL intelligence (AI) is progressively being recognised as the new general purpose technology that will bring about revolutionary economic transformation similar to the Industrial Revolution.

However, the transformational value of AI for any country or economy can only be realised when the market begins to understand and trust the technology.

AI offers new revelations and solutions with government data that may not be achievable by traditional analysis and methods. Traces of AI are already appearing in the banking and manufacturing industries and even in simple daily things, such as the autocorrect features and chatbots that we often take for granted.

However, beneath the surface, AI is also playing a critical part in transforming the culture of the future.

Post-pandemic Malaysia, as one of the main manufacturing supply chains in the world, lags behind other countries in terms of worker productivity, R&D and a tertiary-educated labour force.

Malaysia has reported a sluggish adoption rate of Industry 4.0 with only 15% to 20% of businesses having really embraced it. Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co found that 50% of work in Malaysia is repetitive actions that can be automated.

The government has set out frameworks for the incorporation of AI by numerous sectors of the economy. These comprise the Malaysia Artificial Intelligence Roadmap 2021-2025 (AI-Rmap) and the Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint (MDEB), spearheaded by the MyDIGITAL Corporation and the Economic Planning Unit.

AI will double the rate of innovation and improve workers’ output by 60% in Malaysia (Digital News Asia, 2019). AI will also assist Malaysia’s economic growth by attracting international investments.

The National Industrial Revolution 4.0 (4IR) Policy is estimated to increase the country’s output by 30% across all sectors by the end of 2030, with AI playing a substantial role in attaining that target.

Government initiatives like MyDIGITAL under MDEB offer a digital upskilling platform for Malaysians across various social classes. This will need the support of the masses as government initiatives can only bear fruit with commitment from the public.

Hence, AI will gradually transform our education system and way of thinking, serving as an important force to narrow the inequality among various social classes and putting Malaysia more on par with advanced nations in the digital arena.

The AI-Rmap Survey conducted by the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry last year revealed inadequate expertise and constraints in financing as the two top challenges faced by Malaysian companies in implementing AI.

Although Malaysia may not be ready to implement AI across the entire enterprise or big agencies in the government, we can see its presence in immigration projects, as well as biometric information or image analysis.

AI also curbs the threat of possible cyberattacks, allowing these to be headed off with speed and accuracy.

Malaysia can learn from the developments of AI technologies in China. China’s usage of AI in national intelligence will help government officials pinpoint tendencies and pressures in the country’s social delivery system.

AI tools can extract information from social media, satellite imagery, communication signals and other data sources in a more intelligible, comprehensible and actionable manner.

China synthesises a gigantic amount of data involving talent, companies, research and capital to shape the world’s foremost AI ecosystem.

Its government maintains the utmost strictness on AI integrity by certifying digital businesses such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.

Moreover, the central government gazettes the locations for gathering and exchanging data among these corporations.

The results are encouraging, where China has the biggest capital marketplace for AI start-ups, publishes the greatest number of research documents on AI, introduces concrete data rules and trains the most AI talent.

In early 2019, the AI Organization revealed China’s strategies to empower Huawei’s role in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by linking an AI digital brain to robotics and drones through the 5G network.

The cooperation with Huawei in 5G technology will hasten Malaysia’s implementation of Industry 4.0 technology and boost economic growth. Malaysia can also learn from China in the fields of robotics, cloud computing and AI.

The Kuala Lumpur City Council has decided to collaborate with the cloud computing arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba on “City Brain” systems via big data and AI to make management and transportation better organised in Malaysia’s capital.

Kuala Lumpur is the first city outside China to implement this technology, which may also be useful to other Malaysian cities.

Besides, there is a project to create an AI hub in Malaysia with the help of Chinese AI unicorn SenseTime. The US$1bil hub is aimed at helping local businesses create robots and speech recognition systems as well as nurture tech talent.

It is to be jointly developed by China Harbor Engineering Company, G3 Global Berhad and SenseTime.

SenseTime will provide technical expertise and technical support to G3 Global Berhad, while also working with the latter to develop educational materials for schools in the country.

Developers maintain that the AI park will foster local AI talents and develop a commercial AI ecosystem in Malaysia.

To conclude, Malaysia needs to overcome various challenges in order to advance in the development of AI. The Malaysian government has always been interested in China’s technological advancements in areas such as AI, big data and robotics and hopes to increase the investments in these areas.

Dr Cheong Jia Qi is Senior Lecturer at University Malaysia Sabah and Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Development and Policy. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

The SEARCH Scholar Series is a social responsibility programme jointly organised by the South-East Asia Research Centre for Humanities (SEARCH) and the Centre of Business and Policy Research, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC), and co-organised by the Association of Belt and Road Malaysia.

Source: The Star

How AI can power economic recovery and overcome challenges in Malaysia

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Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) will begin repowering its power plants to green technology options starting 2035, partially relying on gas as transitional fuel when it scales up the new green technologies.

The 2030s will also see the coal plants, which have been operating for decades, being retired.

Concurrently, TNB will establish and grow initiatives in green hydrogen production and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

To achieve net-zero emissions, TNB’s strategy is to repower retired coal and gas plants with combined-cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) using hydrogen-ready technology, which requires a reliable and economically viable supply of green hydrogen, said chief executive officer Datuk Baharin Din.

CCGTs are a form of highly-efficient energy-generation technology.

TNB will commence research and development (R&D) on green hydrogen production with more efficient electrolysers that aim to reduce the levelised cost of energy – the average cost per unit generated – for green hydrogen.

Hydrogen is touted to be the replacement fuel of the future, especially green hydrogen that is produced from renewable energy and has zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Industries, transportation, petrochemicals and power generation are the main sectors that can utilise green hydrogen.

By 2050, Malaysia’s demand for hydrogen can potentially reach three million tonnes per annum (mtpa); the expected demand in Japan is 10 mtpa by 2050, according to its Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry.

TNB aspires to co-fire natural gas with green hydrogen for cleaner power generation in a re-powered project at the Sultan Ismail Power Station in Paka, Terengganu.

This plant is expected to be commissioned by 2030, and will be fired with 100% natural gas initially upon commissioning.

In parallel, TNB and Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PETRONAS) will be working to build the green hydrogen ecosystem, to be ready by 2030, to include the supply of green electricity, electrolysers, compression, storage and transportation.

Working together

TNB and PETRONAS have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen collaboration in driving innovative solutions towards decarbonisation.

The policy and ecosystem to facilitate and encourage the use of green hydrogen is expected to be in place by 2035.

By then, it is envisaged that the Paka plant can be co-fired with up to 30% of green hydrogen, depending on the level of technology readiness and support from regulators.

The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Power Station in Kapar, Selangor, is potentially the next power plant that can be re-powered like the one in Paka.

Following the Paka re-powering, TNB, through its wholly-owned subsidiary TNB Genco, will proactively develop new power plants with cleaner fuel and technology.

With the highly efficient and hydrogen-ready technology in the CCGT at the Paka re-powering, it is expected that the carbon emission avoidance will be around 3.2 million tCO2-e per year – a measure of carbon dioxide in several states.

This is equivalent to the impact of about 700,000 cars per year compared to typical ultra-super critical coal plants with similar capacity.

As for carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, the aim is to reduce carbon emission by current thermal power plants, especially coal plants, that will only be retired beyond 2035.

CCS is a technology used to stop large amounts of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.

Feasibility studies

TNB’s feasibility studies will provide the details of how much carbon dioxide can be stored or sequestered per year.

As part of the MoU with PETRONAS, TNB is also exploring other potential technologies, such as CCS, for decarbonisation.

Initially, a joint study will focus on determining which CCS technology is likely to prevail, when the technology will become economically viable and when it can be deployed to TNB’s existing power plants.

TNB’s maiden large-scale solar (LSS) farm in Sepang, in operation since 2019, has exceeded its maximum annual energy declared for two consecutive years through smart-plant management as well as adoption of artificial intelligence and data analytics technologies.

For its first operational year, the solar power plant surpassed its maximum annual energy declared to the offtaker – TNB – by 6% or at more than 110,000 megawatt-hours (MWh).

In 2020, the solar farm generated 108,900MWh or 5% more than declared.

The 30MW LSS Bukit Selambau in Sungai Petani, Kedah, which started commercial operations in September, 2020, is equipped with 134,880 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.

Renewable energy

In terms of technology for renewable energy, TNB is pursuing a deal flow pipeline of about 3.6 gigawatts (GW) across focused markets to support its growth targets.

In Britain, TNB’s pipeline of 1.6GW is currently 91% under development and 9% already in operation.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the pipeline of 2GW energy is 80% under development, with the other 20% already operational.

With these targets in mind, TNB’s technology focus areas include solar PV that converts sunlight into electrical energy, onshore and offshore wind energy as well as battery storage.

TNB will conduct feasibility studies to determine the best technology options to ensure that the expected cost of energy is competitive, said Baharin.

As TNB starts phasing out coal, and later gas, from its energy generation, consumers will enjoy greener energy consumption.

Modern technologies require investment in R&D; inevitably the average cost per unit generated will increase.

TNB is committed to ensuring that supply of electricity remains not only secure and affordable but also sustainable.

Yap Leng Kuen is a former StarBiz editor. The views expressed here are the writer’s own.

Source: The Star

TNB focuses on new technologies

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COUNTRIES around the world are turning to biogas and biomethane to enhance their energy and food security and jump-start their circular economies.

Biogas is produced by breaking down organic waste – agricultural, food, municipal or animal, including manure and sewage – through a process known as anaerobic digestion, while biomethane removes greenhouse gases via carbon capture. Digestate, the other by-product of anaerobic digestion, can also be used as fertiliser.

In mid-October Titan, a Netherlands-based independent supplier of low- and zero-carbon fuels, announced that it will build and operate the world’s largest biomethane liquefied natural gas export plant at the Port of Amsterdam, which is slated to come on-line in 2025.

Titan will source the biogas from BioValue, one of the largest biogas producers in the Netherlands, which is constructing a new biogas production plant adjacent to Titan’s export facility.

The Titan-BioValue project comes on the heels of the European Commission’s announcement in May that it will ramp up the EU’s biogas production from 3bn cu metres to 35bn cu metres by 2030.

The EU kicked off its biogas push earlier this month with the Biomethane Industrial Partnership, part of the REPowerEU plan launched in May as a strategy to end the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels.

Global energy security

Europe and North America account for most of the current production of biogas and biomethane, and are home to some of the world’s largest producers of waste per capita, with Canada the largest producer in 2019 and the US the third largest.

With the global natural gas market having tightened in 2021, and the International Energy Agency (IEA) expecting this to remain the case into 2023, these countries are training their sights on biogas to address energy security.

Europe’s momentum is creating global opportunities for biogas trade as well as business models for emerging markets to launch their own biogas production facilities or scale up existing projects, allowing for wider penetration across their economies.

Argentina, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia and South Africa are part of the Digital Global Biogas Cooperation project, in which emerging markets are partnering with EU countries including Germany and Austria to import sustainable biogas and biomethane technologies from Europe, and share knowledge and experience that can upgrade local markets.

The IEA estimates that the world could sustainably produce up to 730 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) of biomethane and cover 20 per cent of global natural gas demand; as of 2018 it was producing 35m toe.

Asian growth potential

The Asia-Pacific region is seen as having the greatest scope for future biogas production, with production potential estimated at more than 200m toe as of 2018, according to the IEA, including roughly 80m toe from crop residue and 50m toe from animal manure.

Whereas Europe has the highest biogas production costs, Asia’s are the lowest thanks to low-cost feedstocks, supportive government policies and experience, with India and Thailand already producing significant amounts.

New projects are being launched throughout the region, most notably in India, where last week Asia’s largest biomethane plant was commissioned in Sangrur, Punjab with a US$27 million investment by German bioenergy company Verbio.

The plant features eight digesters with a capacity of 10,000 cu metres and will be able to process 300 tonnes per day of paddy straw, with between six and eight locations within 10km of the plant providing 100,000 tonnes of supply.

It is the latest of 38 plants that the country has commissioned since 2018 as part of its Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation scheme that seeks to harness the country’s biogas potential.

Thailand has launched a similar scheme that uses feed in tariffs to reach power-purchase agreements, with plans to add 335 MW of biogas capacity between 2026 and 2030.

Meanwhile, Indonesia has signed a cooperation agreement with three Japanese gas companies to conduct feasibility studies on producing local biogas from palm oil mill effluent.

The Philippines, for its part, announced in August that it would construct a new 20-cu-metre fixed-dome digester in Baler, Aurora, funded by the Department of Science and Technology, that will transform the manure of ruminant animals and pigs into biogas.

Agro-industrial waste management

By using waste to generate clean energy and fertiliser, biogas offers a prime example of a circular economy that can make direct use of the increasing amounts of carbon-emitting organic waste, especially for farmers in rural areas who do not have access to centralised waste-aggregating systems and often lack reliable power supply.

Agricultural, forestry and land use accounted for 18.4 per cent of global emissions in 2020, while waste contributed 3.2 per cent.

Food waste – much of which never leaves farms – accounts for 10 per cent of emissions due to the large amount land, water and energy required for food production, according to a 2021 study by the World Wildlife Foundation and Tesco.

Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development announced earlier this month that it is providing 44 million lira (US$8.9 million), or 80 per cent of the total investment, for a new biogas plant that will harness agro-industrial waste in the municipality of Elias Fausto. The facility is expected to produce 4.5 million cubic metres per year of biomethane.

In Argentina, where livestock farming accounts for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions, at 21.6 per cent of the total, meat-processing firm Arrabeef installed a digester at its facilities in rural northern Buenos Aires province last year. The digester fed 4000 MW of electricity back into the province’s grid in the first six months of operation.

Through a programme at the School of Agronomy at the University of Buenos Aires, the country is also set to commission three digesters in Zárate with a capacity of 12,000 cu metres to process agro-industrial waste.

Micro-digesters for rural waste

Smaller-scale biogas digesters often offer a direct way to tackle rural waste and bring power and fuel to African farmers and residents not connected to the national grid. Kenya has 14,000 small-scale digesters, while Uganda has 11,000 and Ethiopia 10,000.

Some larger countries like South Africa, which has 300 small-scale digesters, have considerable room for growth. A study by the South African National Energy Development Institute recently drew attention to this deficit, estimating that the initial demand for micro-digesters was 21,000, with a potential yearly demand of up to 50,400.

Nigeria, which generates 32 million tonnes of solid waste per year, is also beginning to show greater interest in small-scale digesters but has yet to implement a national strategy to increase uptake.

This column was produced by the Oxford Business Group.

Source: Borneo Post

Biogas, biomethane could bolster green economy

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Industronics Bhd has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Malaysian NGV Bhd (MNGC) to build and operate the Kedah Aerotropolis project worth 3.3 billion euros (or RM15.36 billion).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia on Friday, Industronics said the proposed development will be built on 9,154.98 acres of land belonging to the Kedah State government.

The development consists of three key components, namely the Airport City — consisting of cargo terminals, MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) centre and Kulim International Airport — as well as a business park and the Sidam Logistics, Aerospace and Manufacturing (SLAM) hub.

The first phase of the project is Airport City which is targeted to be completed in 18 months.

“The proposed development is massive, and through this collaboration with MNGV, we will be part of the development of important infrastructure in Malaysia,” said Industronics executive director Datuk Chu Boon Tiong.

Under the MOU, MNGV will continue to attend and liaise with KXP Airportcity Holdings, a subsidiary of the Kedah State Development Corp and other related parties to secure the proposed development.

Meanwhile, Industronics will secure financing and facilitate funds from the domestic or international market to fund the project’s land and building costs.

According to Chu, Industronics will seek funds and facilitate funds amounting to 3.3 billion euros with its strategic partner, Bluemount Financial Group Ltd and other possible investors for the development.

Chu has acquired a 10% stake in Bluemount, and the group also expressed interest in investing in Bluemount last year.

Shares of Industronics gained 25% to 10 sen, giving the company a value of RM43.75 million.

Source: The Edge Markets

Industronics to co-develop RM15.36 bil Kedah Aerotropolis project

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IHH Healthcare Bhd plans to focus on transitioning its hospitals to green hospitals, with the aim of reducing its carbon footprint and gaining investor confidence.

At its “HealthcareInsider” webinar series yesterday, IHH Healthcare group managing director and chief executive officer Kelvin Loh noted that the healthcare industry contributed about 5% of the world’s carbon emissions.

“We’ll tackle this head on and convert our hospitals progressively towards being green,” Loh said at the webinar titled “Sustainability: Building Trust and Enhancing Stakeholder Value”.

The event was moderated by IHH Healthcare group chief financial officer Joerg Ayrle.

Meanwhile, another speaker, Permodalan Nasional Bhd’s head of the investment stewardship division Muazzam Mohamad, said companies needed to put in more effort and resources into their environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.

“In the long run, that’s exactly what is needed to be resilient, to adapt to the effects of climate change. This is because I think companies need to think about whether their business models are still relevant in a low-carbon world.

“Mathematically, it does seem like it requires some form of investment by the companies themselves. But we think that in the long run, it’s not just about value preservation. If they do it right, it’s for value creation as well,” he said.

Bursa Malaysia Bhd senior vice-president and head of corporate governance and sustainability regulations Ken Yeoh believes adopting ESG practices would drive value creation of a company.

Yeoh believes that Bursa Malaysia’s original sustainability reporting framework triggered and acted as a catalyst for public-listed companies (PLCs) to embark on a sustainability journey.

“More efficient use of resources, better business processes and stronger stakeholder relationships will enhance the resilience of the business.”

Yeoh said most of the more advanced practitioners and companies were already reporting way beyond what the local bourse required.

“Then, there are others, who actually in our extensive stakeholder engagement, are saying that it is desirable to report and given enough time, they would report in the future,” he said, proving that PLCs had the intention to produce sustainability statements.

However, he said the smaller PLCs required a bit more time and support.

Separately, in a quick survey among over 100 audience members of the webinar, it was found that almost half of them thought the government or regulators had the biggest impact in driving sustainability forward.

Another 27% believe that corporates had the biggest impact in driving sustainability, while another 20% and 5% believe investors and non-governmental organisations, respectively, were the major influencers.

Source: The Star

IHH hospitals big on going green

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Industronics Bhd has entered into an agreement to acquire a 50% stake in 5T3M Sdn Bhd for RM1 million, as part of its venture into the education industry.

The acquisition represents a further extension of the collaboration between Industronics and Eduspec Holdings Bhd following the memorandum of agreement signed to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to offer electronic hardware and school equipment to over 10,000 schools in Malaysia.

Following the acquisition of 5T3M, Industronics will set up an SPV known as Advance Education. Aside from that, 5T3M will invest another RM50 million over the next three years to strengthen its Advance Education ecosystem, including training and investment in artificial intelligence (AI) technology, blockchain and data technology to future-proof its advanced education programme.

According to Industronics in a statement on Thursday (Nov 3), 5T3M, an associated company of Eduspec, is Malaysia’s first STEM-based edutainment centre and academy.

Industronics executive director Datuk Chu Boon Tiong noted the company views the education industry as another key sector that will offer strong growth opportunities, with the acquisition of 5T3M marking the group’s first investment in the education business.

He said it is vital to train high-skilled workers and talents as Malaysia competes with other countries in the region to be a high-technology manufacturing hub. Additionally, the lack of local schools and institutions to meet this demand puts Advance Education in a strong position to be the leading player as an education service provider.

“The investment in the Advance Education ecosystem over the next three years will continue to put us at the forefront of the education industry. As we have seen over the last decade, the advancement of technology has disrupted various industries.

“Technological advancement has accelerated rapidly from online shopping, blockchain technology, and AI to Metaverse. This makes it even more important for advanced education programmes to meet this new training demand for the future of work,” added Chu.

Industronics’ shares closed unchanged at eight sen on Thursday, bringing the group a market capitalisation of RM35 million.

Source: The Edge Markets

Industronics ventures into education business

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Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB), in a strategic partnership with the German-Malaysian Institute (GMI), will provide more courses and training next year in the latest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing technology. 

Chief executive officer Izwan Zainuddin said the demand for expertise in the service of EV and hybrid vehicles seems to be increasing in Malaysia, especially for vehicles out of warranty period.

“For this year, a total of three training sessions have been organised involving 60 participants from PUNB’s employees and entrepreneur partners,” he told reporters after the Auto Forum 2022 opening ceremony on Wednesday (Nov 2).

He said the initiative was part of PUNB’s support for the government in the automotive industry which focuses on EV adoption, in line with the National Automotive Policy 2020, to achieve a carbon-free country by 2050.

“In line with this, as an entrepreneur development centre, PUNB is tasked to provide exposure through courses and training to ensure that the businesses of entrepreneur partners move with the current technological development,” he explained.

PUNB also collaborated with Petronas Lubricants Marketing (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd through the Petronas AutoExpert programme as a platform to conduct a concept vehicle workshop under the brand of the major Malaysian oil company.

“Through this collaboration, qualified entrepreneur partners can get funding support from PUNB, along with the guidance offered by Petronas to commence business,” he added.

Izwan said PUNB is targeting 20 of its automotive entrepreneurs to participate in the  Petronas AutoExpert programme within two years until the end of 2024.

Izwan said a total of RM409.3 million in business financing had been approved for 1,238 companies in the automotive industry until Sept 30, 2022 since the establishment of PUNB.

Overall, he said PUNB had approved business financing of RM3.9 billion to 13,615 entrepreneurs from  9,509 companies until Sept 30, 2022, since its establishment.

Its target of business financing approvals this year was RM189 million to 314 companies.

Source: Bernama

PUNB to increase EV training in collaboration with German-Malaysian Institute

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Have you ever sat in traffic and wondered why a road that was usually free-flowing is now congested all the time?

Or ended up being late for an urgent appointment because you couldn’t find a parking spot?

Worried about walking back to your car after work because the streets were completely dark?

These are some of the common challenges that city dwellers face as workplaces, offices and schools reopen their doors and are once again impacting their way of life.

With the majority of Malaysians now having experienced how digital innovations make life simpler – be it remote working options, ecommerce, online orders or direct deliveries – the momentum to leverage technology to solve urban challenges has also picked up pace.

As most of the Malaysian population and businesses are based in or around the nation’s main cities, digital solutions will help address key issues such as traffic congestion, utilities management and public safety, and encourage more efficient urban planning by states, real estate developers, municipalities and local councils.

The digitalisation of local authorities will enable public sector growth and raise the efficiency of public services – as envisioned by the MyDigital Blueprint and “Liveable Malaysia” aspirations.

Smart cities, smart industries

Over the last two years, TM One – the enterprise and government business arm of TM – has intensified its efforts to become the total end-to-end business solution partner for these local councils to support the transformation of their cities.

By understanding their needs and challenges, we have put together an array of solutions for smart cities and smart industries, and brought forward the power of AI, IoT, big data and analytics, as well as 5G.

So how are these smart solutions and technologies making our cities smarter?

For one, TM One’s smart cities solution includes using multiple IoT sensors that detect and mitigate traffic challenges and the environment such as haze, flooding, soil erosion and congestion. These sensors also power TM One’s smart street light systems – improving public safety while being energy efficient.

In Kuching, the state government is addressing community concerns by implementing TM One’s smart street lighting and analytic surveillance – enabling the authorities to assess and address Darul Hana community challenges more effectively.

While these poles are also being used as automated street lights currently, they can provide various other features in the future – such as environmental sensors, electric vehicle charging stations, digital billboards, or outdoor WiFi.

To help local councils detect and respond to any incidents quickly, all of these features can be managed at an integrated control centre, supporting the efficiency of public services.

TM One has also used AI, smart services and 5G to set up smart security and surveillance systems (CCTVs) throughout the country, and worked with the Housing and Local Government Ministry to bring this solution to 25 local councils by helping them improve the safety of their population, reduce crime rates and provide faster assistance during emergencies.

Recently, TM One worked with the Kulai municipal council to upgrade their surveillance facilities at targeted areas.

To ease parking woes in big cities, TM One innovated its Smart Parking System (Sparks). Using AI and mobile applications, users can easily search or book a parking space even before they arrive. The solution helps local authorities to maximise the use of public parking lots and improves revenue collection.

Aside from parking, congestion remains one of the biggest issues for road users in the nation’s cities.

If you had driven along Jalan Sultan Idris Shah in Ipoh a year ago, being stuck in non-moving traffic would be a common occurrence during peak hours.

Over the past seven months, however, TM One has helped the Ipoh city council to reduce traffic flow by 51%, using TM One’s Smart Traffic Analytics and Recognition System (Stars).

The solution helped to decrease carbon emissions by 7,500kg per month, supporting the local council’s goal to make Ipoh a low-carbon city by 2030.

Drones and wireless connectivity such as 4G and 5G were important in surveying and delivering supplies to at-risk communities during the pandemic.

These continue to play an important part in how effectively local councils respond to an emergency or crisis.

In addition to local councils and facilities, smart cities also rely on the transformation of industries and businesses to bring new technological capabilities to its citizens.

In Johor, real estate developers are looking at ways to promote security and digitalise residential premises.

Working with these developers, TM One has integrated smart premises apps and IoT universal hubs, WiFi cameras and smart door sensors into smart residential designs across three cities.

In the Klang Valley, established shopping centres leverage TM One retail analytics, people behaviour and tracking solutions and target location campaigns to improve their customer experience and loyalty – a predictive effort to encourage more customers to physically return to these malls.

Solutions for smart farms

Beyond city limits, smart applications have found their way into the agricultural industry.

TM One is helping farmers and the agriculture industry of all sizes across the country to use smart agriculture solutions that employ IoT sensors, AI, CCTVs and cloud to monitor humidity and soil moisture – to improve their nutrient mixes for healthier crops with greater yield.

This suggests how technology will transform the country’s food ecosystem in the future – bringing new meaning to the term “from farm to table” which innovates the way producers can keep up with demands from their own and urban communities.

Supporting all of these smart solutions is TM One’s robust and secure digital connectivity and infrastructure – formed by cloud, data centres, cybersecurity and smart services.

These elements enable the smart city vision, and beyond, to grow from blueprint to execution and implementation that will raise the lives of citizens, communities and business to the next level and towards achieving the Smart City Index.

Shazurawati Abd Karim is executive vice-president of TM One. For more information, go to www.tmone.com.my/solutions/smart-services/

Source: The Star

Accelerating Malaysia’s Smart Cities Aspirations

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Datasonic Group Bhd has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Meta Doers World Holding Bhd to explore the vast business opportunities related to Metaverse, focusing on education and healthcare industries.

Executive chairman Datuk Abu Hanifah Noordin said that with online learning becoming increasingly popular, especially after the pandemic, the education sector is exploring integrating immersive technologies to transform the learning environment into something more interactive, creative and entertaining.

“The collaboration with Meta Doers marks Datasonic’s foray into the Metaverse world, focusing on the education sector and healthcare industry.

“At the initial stage, our targeted markets are the primary and secondary schools, higher education and training agencies in Malaysia and ASEAN countries,” he said in a statement today.

Meta Doers is part of the Doers Education Group, a specialist in online and offline education, Metaverse project consultancy, and advisory services, focusing on six core business sectors – education, health, food, entertainment, energy, and shelter industry.

Doers Education Group is one of the pioneers in the education and training industry with more than 24 years of excellent track record in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines and Canada.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, investment in Metaverse globally has increased from US$57 billion in 2021 to US$120 billion as of June 2022, which is expected to grow.

Abu Hanifah said Datasonic sees great potential in the Metaverse application platform in many industries, especially in Malaysia and ASEAN countries’ education and healthcare industries.

“By setting up a 60:40 joint venture company, we will leverage the expertise and competitive strengths of both parties to develop a world-class 3D virtual classroom where students can virtually meet and interact with classmates and teachers to achieve optimum learning outcomes.

“The new management of Datasonic is looking forward to the strategic partnership with Meta Doers to diversify into the Metaverse application platform in the education and healthcare industries in Malaysia and ASEAN countries and is committed to generating higher revenue and profit for the company,” he added.

Source: NST

Datasonic inks MoU with Meta Doers World to explore business opportunities related to Metaverse

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Sarawak targets to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 600,000 tonnes per annum by 2030. This will be achieved by electrifying the state’s mobility fleet, according to Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“In order to fulfil our commitment to lower carbon emissions and decrease our reliance on fossil fuel, Sarawak has ambitiously aligned our post-Covid 19 development strategy to expand on our initial strategic economic blueprint under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy launched in 2008.

“This was when we began to strategically harness hydropower potential for rapid economic growth. This transformed Sarawak’s energy landscape,” he added in a recent keynote address at the Singapore Energy Summit in conjunction with the Singapore International Energy Week (Oct 25).

With the operation of major hydroelectric dams, including Bakun and Murum, he said Sarawak’s energy generation mix had transitioned from 92% fossil fuels in 2010 to 70% hydropower by 2015, complemented by thermal resources for energy security.

State-owned utility company Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) currently has an installed capacity of up to 5,643MW, of which 3,452MW (comprising Bakun 2,400MW, Murum 944MW and Batang Ai dam 108MW) is from hydropower. Another 1,285MW from the Baleh hydro dam will be added to the installed capacity when the dam is expected to be commissioned by 2027.

Johari said detailed studies had identified Sarawak’s most prospective hydropower sites to 12 locations, with the potential to generate 8,000MW.

“The shift (to hydropower) has decarbonised our grid emission intensity by 72% between 2010 and 2020 and continues to drive our sustainable socio-economic growth in the present day.

“Our renewable hydropower will be among the main engines for achieving the climate goal of a transition from CO2-producing electricity generation to carbon-free generation,” said Johari.

He said the lower levelised cost of energy from renewable hydropower had also benefited Sarawak’s domestic, industrial and export customers by supplying them with affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

SEB currently offered the lowest average unsubsidised tariffs in South-East Asia, and its electricity is primarily green.

“As Malaysia’s largest renewable energy producer, Sarawak can play a key role in accelerating the region’s energy transition by working together with our neighbours by sharing our resources.

“The Sarawak Growth Agenda supports a resilient and sustainable energy future for a common regional prosperity.

“The global movement towards decarbonisation and energy transition is particularly important for Asean, as even the best-case scenario still indicates that all of us will face the effects of climate change to some degree,” he added.

SEB has been exporting electricity to neighbouring West Kalimantan, Indonesia since 2016, and is currently supplying up to 300MW to the province.

SEB will next export electricity to Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd upon targeted completion of the Sarawak-Sabah power interconnection project by May 2023. There are also plans to export electricity to oil-rich Brunei Darussalam.

Johari said by 2030, SEB targets to maintain at least a 60% renewable energy capacity mix, with renewable hydropower as its core.

Source: The Star

Sarawak in big emission reduction drive by 2030

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Since the global economy has gradually recovered and opened up over the last two years, most countries are being quite aggressive in their efforts to attract highly skilled foreign workers as a short-term economic recovery strategy.

According to Korn FerryFirm (2018), the global talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people by 2030, costing the global economy nearly RM38 trillion.

This situation is linked to an event that occurred in 1997, as revealed by a McKinsey study, which refers to competition for talent in order to increase the level of competitiveness among organisations.

Recently, with the revision of the foreign worker visa policy, Southeast Asia has not lagged behind in the competition to entice foreign skilled workers.

Singapore has introduced a new five-year work pass — the Overseas Networks and Expertise Pass (ONE pass) — for talent earning at least S$30,000 (RM99,830) in fixed monthly salary and having outstanding achievements in arts and culture, sports, and research and academia.

Indonesia has announced a five-year visa for digital nomads, allowing users to live and work remotely tax-free for up to five years if they can prove their income was earned outside Indonesia.

Thailand recently implemented a new 10-year Long-Term Resident Visa (LTR) to attract investors, talents, remote workers and retirees to live, work or invest in Thailand.

Malaysia issues the Resident Pass Talent (RP-T) for a period of 10 years to foreign talents who possess qualifications in critical fields. Furthermore, to attract investors, Malaysia launched the Malaysia Residency Through Investment Premium Visa Programme (PViP), which allows wealthy foreigners to reside and invest in the country as well as create new job opportunities for Malaysians.

Skilled labour shortage

The Malaysian Department of Statistics reported that, for the second quarter of 2022, the number of jobs in the semi-skilled category remained dominant in the labour market at 62.2% (5.364 million). This was followed by highly skilled jobs at 24.9% (2.144 million) and unskilled jobs at 12.9% (1.111 million).

These statistics show that the number of highly skilled workers in Malaysia remains lower than the target. This scenario requires attention because the country must increase the number of highly skilled workers to more than 45% by 2030 in order to compete with other developed countries.

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) reported on Sept 6 that manufacturing industries, particularly semiconductors and electronics, are facing a critical shortage of highly skilled workers, including engineers and technicians, with an estimated loss of RM50 billion in national income over the last eight months.

On Oct 7, the government presented Budget 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat, allocating RM6.7 billion to seven key ministries for the implementation of various Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) initiatives next year. The primary focus is on the most important aspects of youth development, such as job creation, skills development, training and entrepreneur financing programmes.

However, does the allocation provided achieve its objectives? What are the issues and challenges that must be addressed in Budget 2023 to mainstream the TVET system for youth?

First and foremost, there is the issue of unemployment. Graduates are not employed in the field for which they were educated (mismatch). Candidates with prior experience and fluency in multiple languages are preferred by employers. Many recent graduates are unwilling to work in the 3D (dirty, dangerous and difficult) fields.

Second, there is the issue of over-education. Over-education is becoming more common as a result of job market gaps. Despite having a degree, gig jobs such as e-hailing and p-hailing have become the primary source of income for many youth. Furthermore, owing to their debts from education loans, the opportunity to participate in entrepreneurship programmes is limited.

The third consideration is the minimum wage. Graduates are eager to migrate abroad to work as fruit pickers, cleaners, garbage collectors and construction workers. This is because the salary and currency value in the labour-receiving countries are higher.

Fourth, there is the risk of youth indiscipline. Young people regard social media as a mandatory trend in their daily lives. Some people are addicted to flaunting their daily routine, happiness, luxury and social status to attract attention. This influence can have a negative impact on employees’ behaviour at times. Every organisation has guidelines to be adhered to, including attendance, punctuality, dress code, ethics, standard operating procedures and confidentiality of information.

TVET as a catalyst

Initiatives that encourage local students to major in TVET as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses are expected to produce skilled workers in line with the country’s industrialisation needs.

Local expertise is essential for us to meet the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities created by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) through the use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics.

TVET is an education and training process aimed at employment, with a strong emphasis on on-the-job training. As a result, a competent workforce in specific fields can be formed to meet industry needs while also contributing to the country’s economic growth. When compared to graduates of academic programmes, TVET graduates will have an advantage in terms of practical skills, which will pique the interest of employers.

The main purpose of TVET is to provide opportunities for students who are not academically talented. It is known that, to become professionals such as doctors, engineers and accountants, students must excel in their academic fields. Some youth, on the other hand, are unable to achieve excellent results and are more interested in jobs requiring technical and vocational training.

Furthermore, TVET is crucial for producing a skilled workforce in technical and service industries. Carpentry, automotive maintenance, welding, electrical works, culinary arts, hospitality, grooming, tailoring and other fields are available to trainees. These fields require workers who are proficient in technical matters so that the work at each level is carried out correctly. Automotive technicians, for example, can work as mechanics or open their own vehicle service centres.

Indirectly, TVET can produce local entrepreneurs who provide the best service to the community. The bottom line is that we need support from government and private sector stakeholders to produce a highly skilled and competent workforce. At the same time, TVET can boost domestic industry potential and workforce competitiveness.

From a different perspective, TVET is significant as an alternative to tertiary education, which may be lined with various barriers for the students’ future. School leavers are stuck choosing between furthering their education at a higher level and working to support themselves and their families.

Earlier this year, the Statistics Department released a report stating that about 390,000 out of 560,000 SPM candidates, or 72.1%, preferred to join the workforce after sitting the examination. Only 170,000 were found to be keen on pursuing their studies.

Therefore, TVET serves as a catalyst for those who are unable to continue their studies at university or college. They are trained in preparation for jobs in accordance with industry standards and are awarded degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Correspondingly, TVET for employment has been discussed as a way of retaining workers. Reskilling and upskilling programmes can cater for a future-ready workforce, particularly in high-end manufacturing, technology, the service industry, and oil and gas.

As Nasdaq reported on June 6, a survey by ManpowerGroup Employment looked at the state of the labour market and what lies ahead. Speaking with 40,000 employers worldwide, ManpowerGroup found that the top 5 in-demand skills were:

• IT and data;

• Sales and marketing;

• Operations and logistics;

• Manufacturing and production; and

• Customer-facing and front office.

The time is now

There are three major reasons TVET must now be strengthened.

First, youth unemployment is extremely high, standing at 15.1% in 2021. Every year, university graduates add to this total, especially as there is sometimes a mismatch between academic programmes and the available jobs in the industry. Recent graduates are having difficulty finding jobs that match their academic credentials.

Second, there is a trend of local talent migrating to other countries. All the grants and scholarships given to outstanding youth are meaningless if the local experts who are financed with national funds do not stay in the country. Instead, they migrate and contribute to the economies of other countries. With the Malaysian currency’s weak position and better salary offers elsewhere, it is feared that the rate of migration among skilled workers, particularly the experts, will increase.

Third, the country’s reliance on foreign labour distorts the labour market. There is also a two-tiered labour market. This effectively keeps wages low in a wide range of job categories. Jobs for foreign workers fall into socially undesirable categories for the nation’s youth. They have a social stigma, are usually subjected to harsh supervision, and live in deplorable conditions.

In conclusion, TVET is an important factor in the country’s economic development and significantly improves the productivity of labour, income and employment opportunities.

“The strategic location, first-rate infrastructure and availability of skilled labour remain Malaysia’s strengths in luring investment from Germany, the fourth-largest economy in the world, in addition to the long-lasting relationship between the two nations,” says Jan Schmidt-Krayer, CEO of steel trading company Schmidt + Clemens.

With Budget 2023, it is hoped that the TVET platform will not only help the youth to obtain jobs, but also create jobs for other communities through critical, entrepreneurial and creative thinking.

Shakib Ahmad Shakir is the director-general of the Manpower Department, Ministry of Human Resources, and Dr Rodzidah Mohd Rodzi is special officer (research) at the Manpower Department

Source: The Edge Markets

TVET as a catalyst for economic growth

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Coara Solar Sdn Bhd has launched its solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant, one of the largest solar plants in Malaysia, here on Wednesday (Oct 26).

Coara Solar Sdn Bhd’s executive director Susan Hemming said the RM400 million Coara Marang solar project was jointly developed alongside its German business partner, ib vogt GmbH, at a 245-hectare site in Marang, Terengganu.

“The solar plant construction started in February 2021 and finished in April 2022, reaching commercial operations on Sept 17, 2022.

“The plant will achieve maximum energy production efficiency [of] up to 116 megawatts, with an estimated delivery of 230 gigawatts clean energy per year or equivalent to an average yearly consumption of 55,000 households,” she said during the launching ceremony of the project’s commercial operations.

Hemming said the energy production from the solar farm will help improve environmental sustainability by reducing emissions of up to 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

“We are pleased to be able to contribute positively towards Malaysia’s climate change agenda in generating clean and sustainable energy without producing greenhouse gas emissions, while reducing air pollution,” she said.

Meanwhile, chairman of the infrastructure, public amenities, utility and green technology committee for the Terengganu state government Dr Mamad Puteh said the state government continues to support such initiatives which contribute to the empowerment and consumption of green technology.

“The Coara Marang solar project represents part of the Malaysian government’s effort to achieve 31% capacity in renewable energy by 2025, about 25% of which has been achieved,” he said.

Additionally, the solar farm construction has provided close to 500 employment opportunities to locals in Marang.

Source: Bernama

Coara Solar launches solar photovoltaic plant in Marang

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Homegrown e-commerce and delivery services company ABX Express (M) Sdn Bhd has rebranded to KEX Express and is committed to continuing investing in Malaysia.

The rebranding exercise would see ABX Express evolve into KEX Express, with the latter’s logo used in all materials including nationwide storefronts and more than 2,500 trucks across the country.

KEX Express Malaysia senior general manager Richard Lui said the company is highly correlated with asset investment as the company has invested RM250 million in Malaysia’s delivery network and will continue with more investments in the future.

“The company had invested heavily into hub automation, IT infrastructure, and team expansions over the past five years,” he said at the announcement of its rebranding exercise here today.

Lui said the rebranding exercise is an important milestone for the company as it is a culmination of its part under the banner of Kerry Logistics Network (KLN), an Asia-based international logistics company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

“This combination gives KEX Express immediate access to KLN’s extensive global network and a full-fledged international set of offerings with particular strength to China and Intra Asia.

“Combining the experience, we aim to be the trusted logistics partner to all Malaysians, providing hassle-free and seamless express delivery services for all businesses as well as for personal delivery needs to both local and international destinations,” he said.

On another note, Lui said that the new KEX Express will focus on three areas as part of its commitment to serve Malaysians better.

“First is digital cash on delivery (COD) and digital freight on delivery (FOD) with cashless options within local express delivery space.

“The second is the seller centre which is an all-in-one shipping platform dedicated to sellers.

“For the third, we will focus on route optimisation in where KEX Express is in the process of optimising its fleet delivery routing system using algorithms and big data,” he explained.

For more information, visit my.kex-express.com.

Source: Bernama

ABX Express rebrands to KEX Express, pledges to continue investing in Malaysia

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Public Investment Bank Bhd (PIVB) maintained its “overweight” stance on the technology sector, as it sees more inflows of investments into the Asean region, with Malaysia standing to benefit significantly from the heightening US-China stand-off.

PIVB said that investors should relook at technology stocks with strong fundamentals in the long term, given the attractive risk-reward benefits.

Malaysia stands out in the region, it said in a research note on Tuesday (Oct 25).

“We believe there will be positive spillover effects from the relocation of industries from China and the US into this region — in order to minimise future risks arising from increased US-China tensions.

“Malaysia is among the leading countries in terms of investments in the semiconductor, telecommunications and technology industries, as it has a favourable ecosystem, including talent, infrastructure, and a business-friendly environment,” the investment bank explained. 

Malaysia’s outsourced services assembly and test and automated test equipment players could benefit from the trade diversion from the US and China, PIVB said, adding that the ringgit’s current weakness is also attractive to foreign investors. 

“Malaysia’s semiconductor industry, which takes up 13% of global chip assembly and testing market share, is set to benefit from the recently passed US Chips and Science Act (US$52.7 billion or RM249.56 billion in federal subsidies allocated to support chip manufacturing) in the long term, as more assembly and testing jobs are needed to cater for the new state-of-the-art chip fabrication plants with process technology of seven nanometres and below,” the investment bank added.

Source: Bernama

Malaysia’s tech sector expected to benefit from heightening US-China stand-off

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As Malaysia’s largest renewable energy provider, Sarawak can play a key role in accelerating the Southeast Asia’s energy transition by working together with its neighbours and sharing its resources.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state’s growth agenda supported a resilient and sustainable energy future for a common regional prosperity.

“The lower levelised cost of energy from renewable hydropower also benefits Sarawak’s domestic, industrial, and export customers by supplying them with affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity — in fact, the most competitive in the region.

“Through our wholly state-owned utilities company Sarawak Energy, I am proud to say that Sarawak currently offers the lowest average unsubsidised tariffs in Southeast Asia and our electricity is primarily green,” he said in his address at the Singapore Energy Summit in conjunction with Singapore International Energy Week in Singapore on Tuesday (Oct 25).

The text of his speech was made available to Bernama here.

In order to fulfil its commitment to lower carbon emissions and decrease reliance on fossil fuels, Abang Johari said Sarawak had ambitiously aligned its Post Covid-19 Development Strategy to expand on its initial strategic economic blueprint under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, or SCORE, launched in 2008. 

“Our generation mix has successfully transitioned from 92% fossil fuels in 2010 to 70% hydropower by 2015, complemented by thermal resources for energy security.

“This shift has decarbonised our grid emission intensity by 72% between 2010 and 2020 and continues to drive our sustainable socio-economic growth in the present day,” he added.

Source: Bernama

Sarawak can play key role in accelerating region’s energy transition, says premier

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Petroleum Sarawak Bhd (Petros) is targeting to develop four gas hubs in Miri, Bintulu, Samalaju and Kuching in its effort to spur the state’s economic activities.

Through the hubs, Petros will deliver a state-wide access to gas supply and clean energy, according to Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

For the immediate term and as part of Sarawak gas roadmap, Abang Johari noted state-owned Petros would deliver its first project for the Miri Hub – a 400MW power plant – to ensure northern Sarawak’s energy security.“For the Samalaju Hub, Petros will lay gas pipeline and also, together with Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) to build a power plant. This is critical to complete Samalaju as a heavy industry zone.

“The projects alone will require investment of around RM6bil.

“Over 10 years across the four hubs, the total projected investment is RM65bil, inclusive of downstream value-added industries,” added Abang Johari at a recent Petros’ fifth anniversary celebration dinner.

The Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy is home to energy-intensive industries such as aluminium and ferroally smelters.

Abang Johari is also confident that the Sarawak gas roadmap will be a game changer for Sarawakians as it is a key supporting pillar in Sarawak’s aspiration to become a high income and advanced state in Malaysia.

He noted Petros, which achieved a revenue of RM1.2bil last year, is among the ranks of the billion-ringgit companies with a robust financial performance and a Triple-A rating.

Petros is on a journey of rapid growth, which it has funded with its own equity and funding, he added.

“Petros has also grown its equity in hydrocarbon resource base. In the offshore exploration and production space, Petros has three offshore production-sharing (PSC) contracts and three offshore exploration PSC. Petros is also pursuing several other opportunities.

“In the onshore exploration and production space, Petros remains as regulator but also with participating interest through its subsidiary – Petroleum Sarawak Exploration and Production (PSEP) – in the existing block SK433 located in Miri-Baram area.

“I am excited that after 20 years of inactivity in onshore Sarawak, we will be drilling again next year in Miri,” added Abang Johari.

Under the commercial settlement agreement signed between Petroliam Nasional Bhd (PETRONAS) and Petros two years ago, Petros is empowered to develop the potential of oil and gas (O&G) onshore.

The agreement also includes Sarawak’s equity participation in offshore operations and the assurance that 25% of the state’s gas is prioritised for Sarawak’s domestic needs.

In the downstream O&G sector, Petros is a major player in the domestic gas market.

Petros Niaga is the No. 1 liquified natural gas operator, currently with 65% market share in Sarawak.

As domestic gas aggregator under Sarawak domestic gas ordinance, Petros has been delivering gas to households and industries in Miri and Bintulu since 2020.

“Our downstream business is all about scale, as margins are small, more so with bigger market share, we expect better and reliable service to customers.”

PETRONAS had also signed a collaboration agreement with Petros for a carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS), which is the first step to enable the green economy.

He said Sarawak is blessed with geological structures that are suitable to store carbon dioxide (CO2),and that its potential for CCUS could be at world-scale.

“The CCUS sites are part of state land and hence belongs to Sarawak. I would like Petros, given its technical skills, to be the resource manager for CCUS with the support of the relevant ministries.

“The CCUS industry will promote the development of the state’s massive gas resources, which contains CO2 to secure long-term energy security for the state, create more domestic jobs through green industry and provide another revenue source to Sarawak.

“CCUS is a key enabler to achieve net-zero (emission) by 2050 as we transition away gradually from carbon-based fossil fuels,” said Johari.

Meanwhile, Petros chairman Tan Sri Hamid Bugo said Petros has signed a PSC contract with PETRONAS to acquire a 45% equity in Block SK407 located offshore Miri, effective Jan 1, 2023.

He said the deal is a pivotal step to increase Sarawak’s access to adequate hydrocarbon resources to propel the realisation of the Miri hub development.

In addition, Petros has executed a head of agreement with PETRONAS for the sale and purchase of gas sourced from offshore Sarawak for the planned 400MW power plant in Miri.

He said Petros’ focus would be to make O&G as Sarawak’s engine of growth for the state’s economic and social development as well as to create more jobs for the people.

Source: The Star

Petros to build gas hubs

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Graduates with technical skills based on current industry standards can be employed much more easily amidst tight competition in the workforce, a human resource expert said.

This would lead fresh graduates with expertise and knowledge in the areas of business and education towards greater employability, Dr Gajendra Balasingham, chief executive officer of GKK Consultants Sdn Bhd, told Bernama today.

“This is more so since companies want manpower who can perform and work with the least supervision from Day One,” he said on the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between GKK and Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP).

Under the MOU, GKK would train and equip UniMAP’s fresh graduates on know-how and insights on interacting and working in today’s demanding workforce.

UniMAP’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Technologist Dr Zaliman Sauli, said the varsity plans to focus on overall graduate employability that would boost technical and vocational education and training (TVET) opportunities.

“Starting firstly with the young graduates from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering & Technology, they will be prepared with the overall knowledge and in-depth skills required in specific fields of today’s manpower demands and employability,” he said.

UniMAP’s raison d’etre was to produce highly-skilled engineers to fulfil and support Malaysia’s Industrial Blueprint.

Working closely with the Ministry of Higher Education, GKK and UniMAP are aiming towards creating strong, skilled professionals who will address the manpower needs of Malaysia and the specific needs of selected industries.

The first batch to be trained, numbering around 50, will start their sessions soon.

Gajendra said: “Very often, as new fresh graduates lack much needed experience, many employers do not have the resources, time or management training schemes to upskill such manpower.”

Such training and preparation is crucial to continue to lower the unemployment rate which in May 2022 stood at 3.9 per cent or 637,700 persons, a 1.8 per cent reduction compared to the previous month’s figure of 649,300 persons, according to the Statistics Department.

It is encouraging to know that according to Trading Economics’ latest findings, the unemployment rate in Malaysia further declined to 3.7 per cent in August 2022.

Source: Bernama

Industry standards technical skills boosts fresh graduates employability, says HR expert

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Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has received a letter of Intent (LoI) from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources for the development of a 2,100 megawatt (mw) combined cycle power plant project in Kapar, Selangor.

The LoI was received through its wholly-owned subsidiary TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd (TPGSB).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, TNB said the greenfield project will be constructed on TPGSB’s own land located north of the existing Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Power Station and will be carried out in collaboration with Widad Business Group Sdn Bhd (WBG).

The project is scheduled for a commercial operation date in 2031.

“The project is aligned with TNB’s Net Zero Emissions Aspiration by 2050, which also forms part of TPGSB’s initiative in supporting the government’s Low Carbon Aspiration 2040 under the National Energy Policy and the government’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050,” TNB said.

The power plant is also expected to be earnings accretive to TNB upon commissioning of the project.

“This project will not have any material effect on TNB’s consolidated net assets per share prior to commissioning.

“The transaction will not have any effect on the issued and paid-up share capital and the substantial shareholders’ shareholdings of TNB,” it said.

In a separate statement, TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Baharin Din said the project has an estimated investment of RM9.5 billion and is projected to deliver earnings before interest and tax of approximately RM400 million per annum.

“We are also looking at embracing new green technologies where new gas-fired power plants will be developed with future hydrogen technology as alternate fuel to gas,” he said.

WBG founder and group executive chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Ikmal Opat Abdullah (pix) said the project would be carried out through a joint venture between TNB and WBG with the former holding a 60 per cent stake and the latter holding a 40 per cent stake.

In another development, Master Tec Wire and Cable Sdn Bhd will be supplying low-voltage power cables to TNB wholly-owned subsidiary, Tenaga Cable Industries Sdn Bhd, worth RM12 million following their long-term original equipment manufacturing agreement.

The volume of low-voltage cables to be supplied over the next one year would depend on the demand from Tenaga Cable Industries, it said in a statement today.

“Given our experience in supplying necessary cables for renewable energy (RE) facilities, Master Tec Wire and Cable is also well-positioned to capture more opportunities in the segment as the government accelerates its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050,” director Datuk Lau Kim San said.

Source: Bernama

TNB, Widad to build 2,100MW power plant in Selangor

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Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) will invest RM5.8bil to repower the Sungai Perak Power Stations (SSJ Sungai Perak) and expects RM200mil to be added annually to the group’s earnings before interest and tax under a new 40-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Baharin Din said 18 generating units at the six stations would be upgraded to the latest technology.

“This is among the initiatives to further strengthen TNB’s energy transition plan, with a renewable energy (RE) capacity target of 8,300 megawatts (MW) by 2025, in line with our aspiration to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

“This will reinforce TNB’s dominance in the hydro generation sector with a cumulative capacity of 2,661MW in supporting a carbon-neutral nation and the National Energy Policy announced by the government recently,” he said in a statement yesterday.

TNB had on Oct 14 announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, TNB Power Generation Sdn Bhd (TNB Genco), had received approval from the Energy Commission to implement the Hydro Life Extension Programme for six stations in SSJ Sungai Perak commencing this year.

The project, with an investment of RM5.8bil, sets to repower SSJ Sungai Perak with a capacity of 650.75MW to support the country’s RE aspirations and to ensure its sustainable growth.Baharin said except for SJ Pergau, six stations in the same hydroelectric scheme, namely SJ Temengor, SJ Bersia, SJ Kenering, SJ Chenderoh and SJ Sungai Piah (upper and lower) will be operating under a new PPA for 40 years. The first unit will be in commercial operation in 2025, he said.

SSJ Sungai Perak’s upgrading works involve the latest technological requirements, including turbines and transformers to improve its efficiency and lifespan while strengthening TNB’s commitment to environment, social and corporate governance objectives.

TNB Genco managing director Datuk Nor Azman Mufti said SSJ Sungai Perak is continuing its role in flood mitigation, managing water reservoirs for agriculture and clean water supply as well as increasing employment opportunities and new business activities such as eco-tourism and aquaculture.

“In terms of green energy, SSJ Sungai Perak will reduce up to 464,000 carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, which is equivalent to carbon emitted by over 100,000 vehicles per annum,” he added. 

Source: Bernama

TNB eyes RM200mil annual income from investment

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Celcom Axiata Bhd and DHL Supply Chain (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (DHL) are collaborating to build a sustainable supply chain in Malaysia by digitalising logistics with smart solutions.

The partnership will co-create a digital ecosystem to implement technological solutions and connectivity services to boost logistics competitiveness.

The collaboration will remove barriers between different industries.

Celcom chief executive officer Datuk Idham Nawawi said the collaboration enables leading industry players from both logistic and telecommunication industries to come together and harness each other’s knowledge, skills, and expertise to explore smart solutions to enhance

logistics efficiency and sustainability.

“The digitisation of logistics is crucial to accelerate the growth of the local supply chain industry and the nation’s digital economy, ensuring Malaysia remains competitive and attractive to foreign investors.

“Leveraging on Celcom’s widest coverage with reliable and consistent network performance, we will work closely with DHL to apply smart logistics solutions to innovate positive results, leading to a more agile supply chain management that adds value to customers,” Idham said.

Earlier today, Idham signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with DHL managing director Mario Lorenz.

Under the deal, Celcom will take the lead by capitalising on its local communications leadership strengths and operating excellence to propose information, communication, and technology (ICT) solutions to ensure efficient and smooth supply chains.

These include smart solutions such as robotics, SDWan, cybersecurity, managed wi-fi, and future 5G network solutions.

The collaboration will leverage the expertise of two organisations emphasising customers’ needs within today’s digital ecosystem.

This will allow smoother operations focusing on productivity gains, which will translate into lower operational costs.

Mario said the partnership aligns with the company’s accelerated digitisation agenda in using technology to enhance customer and employee experience.

“We can learn from our strategic partner, Celcom, and contribute our supply chain expertise to create more value for the industry.

“Here in Malaysia, we have already implemented technologies such as pick-to-light, automation, and robotic process automation (RPA), which has helped us become more productive and efficient while ensuring the safety of our employees and providing them with opportunities to upskill,” he said.

Source: NST

Celcom, DHL Supply Chain to co-create digital logistics ecosystem

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As Malaysia’s largest energy provider, Tenaga Nasional Bhd has a huge role to play in promoting the nation’s decarbonisation agenda by enabling the use of electric vehicles (EVs). Tenaga has forecast 33,350 battery EVs in the country by 2025, for which 3,300 charging points will be needed. This is set to increase to 500,000 EVs and 18,000 charging points by 2030.

Mohd Junaizee Mohd Noor, project director of Tenaga’s Project Management Office (PMO) tasked with driving the EV agenda, says there are currently 1,400 battery EVs on the road and 400 charging points — both alternate and direct current — across the nation. 

There are four building blocks for an EV ecosystem: the EVs, the grid to supply adequate electricity, the charging points and the software to support EV owners.

“Tenaga is not going to play a role in the first part. We are not in the car business. We leave that to the original equipment manufacturers and importers. However, the other three [building blocks] are where Tenaga will play [a role],” says Junaizee. “We want to make sure that electricity is sufficient at the grid [level] as the demand [for EVs] increases. We also want to ensure that the charging points that will be installed are available to the public and sufficient to cater to demand.”

The electrification of the transport sector is a potential income generator for Tenaga. Already, the sole electric utility company in Peninsular Malaysia has projected an annual electricity revenue of RM80 million by 2025 and RM1.25 billion by 2030 from setting up charging points. It also plans to provide the software for EV owners. 

“Tenaga will be introducing a mobile app for users to charge their vehicles at charging points,” says Junaizee. 

EVs are touted as a key strategy to decarbonise the transport sector, which is the second-biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions globally and in Malaysia. That’s because most people are still using internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles powered by fossil fuels. 

But the uptake of EVs is rising globally. As at 2020, the International Energy Agency reported that the sales of EVs were 4.6% of total car sales around the world. 

Are EVs really clean?

While EVs are deemed to be the cleaner transport option, Tenaga’s power is currently mostly sourced from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas — which brings into question whether transitioning from ICE vehicles to EVs makes a difference.

“In accordance with our sustainability pathway 2050, we are doing our part on the generation side by looking at ways to ‘green’ electricity production,” asserts Junaizee.

Malaysia has a target to reach 31% of renewable energy share in the national installed capacity mix by 2025.

In August, Tenaga and Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the green hydrogen ecosystem and carbon capture and storage technology. According to Petronas, the initiative will begin by re-powering Tenaga’s decommissioned Sultan Ismail Power Station in Paka, Terengganu, via the use of gas with hydrogen-ready technology by 2030.

According to Tenaga, it is also studying the use of various renewable energy to generate green hydrogen.

Green hydrogen is produced by using electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The process is powered by renewable energy sources. Grey and blue hydrogen are produced from natural gas, but the latter uses technology to capture carbon emissions from the process.

Higher demand for electricity 

Junaizee assures that Tenaga’s grid is well equipped to support the anticipated increase in demand for electricity. 

Based on the latest data from Single Buyer, which is the authorised entity to conduct electricity planning and manage electricity procurement services for Peninsular Malaysia, Tenaga’s current electricity reserve margin is at 33%. 

“Whenever we want to install a charging point, we need to check the demand at each site. If the [electric] capacity is available, [the process] is straightforward. However, if capacity is not enough, there are always means for us to address the situation [with the electric reserve margin],” says Junaizee.

Higher electricity bills are one of the concerns among EV users. Junaizee says that although Tenaga does not offer any special tariff for EV charging, its studies have shown that the cost of charging EVs is cheaper than fuel costs for ICE vehicles. Based on Tenaga’s findings, EV users save up to 28.3% in fuel costs compared to driving an ICE vehicle using RON95 fuel, and up to 51% compared to driving an ICE vehicle using RON97 fuel. 

As an EV user himself, Junaizee usually charges his car every four or five days during a normal work week, when he travels between home and office.

Unlike a conventional vehicle’s constant fuel consumption as long as the engine is running, an EV’s battery consumption is lowest when it is stationary. This saves battery consumption and allays fears of EVs running out of power, leaving users stranded in the middle of the road during peak traffic hours.

Junaizee highlights three important points to counter range anxiety.

“[Firstly], you have to understand your car’s [electrical] capacity and performance. At the same time, you must plan your route. Thirdly, we are making efforts to increase the number of charging points across Malaysia.”

He says Tenaga has several plans to support the EV ecosystem by 2024. These include building stations specifically with charging points for EVs at five to six locations, collaborating with petrol station operators to install charging points across major trunk roads and installing charging points at more than 20 Tenaga branches nationwide. 

Advocacy is key

A lot of collaboration between the government and stakeholders is needed to make sustainable transport a reality.

“There are some areas beyond our control because they are not part of our business, but we are doing our part in advocacy,” says Mohd Junaizee Mohd Noor, project director of Tenaga Nasional Bhd’s Project Management Office, which is responsible for driving the electric vehicle (EV) agenda.

That’s why Tenaga set up the Zero Emission Vehicle Association (Zeva), which, incidentally, Junaizee leads as president, alongside 28 members from the EV industry. These comprise car manufacturers, charging operators, consultants and EV users.

While industry players are grateful for the exemption of import taxes for EVs, Junaizee hopes that Malaysia can also learn from other countries in introducing incentives to boost EV usage. For example, China and Germany are offering cash subsidies to citizens who purchase EVs. 

Junaizee suggests that incentives be given to charging point operators. “For Zeva, we are going to continue playing our role as the voice of [the] EV [industry] in Malaysia,” he pledges. “We’re going to increase public awareness of EVs, syndicate with car manufacturers and importers to bring in their [EV] models, and engage more with the government and their agencies.”

Source: The Edge Markets

Transport: Creating a conducive environment for electric vehicles

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One of Europe’s leading tech companies, Endava, has ambitious plans to use Malaysia as a launch pad to penetrate the Asia region.

The United Kingdom-based company in August this year had set up its first delivery operation centre in South-East Asia located in Kuala Lumpur.

This would also facilitate the company’s expansion into the region.

With Endava’s operations in Malaysia, the tech company, among others, is set to provide technological expertise to organisations involved in trading, mining and logistics, payments and insurance businesses.

Endava regional manager Radu Lazar told StarBiz the reason the company decided to establish its delivery operation centre is because Malaysia is a matured IT market in South-East Asia.

Furthermore, the expertise the company could tap in the local market makes it an ideal geographical location for it to expand in the region.

“We want to be physically present and closer to our customers in Asia-Pacific and in South-East Asia.

The opening of our centre here means that we are able to provide the right technological expertise closer to home,” he said.

The firm delivers end-to-end solutions, from strategy to deployment, and is present at every step of the customer journey to design, build and deploy appropriate technology that fits each client’s business needs.

Endava has existing sales offices in Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Lazar said as a delivery centre, it would provide technical support, digital execution, and operational delivery for customers in the region.

Elaborating on its local expansion plans, he said: “ At present, we are focused on connecting with our customers in Malaysia and the region, as well as hiring and growing the right engineers to help with precise delivery of technology solutions.

“We are also always on the lookout for fresh talent, and will be exploring partnerships with local universities as part of our long-term strategy.

“Talent has always been a priority for us. While we do appreciate deep technical knowledge, especially for engineers, we are also very focused on the character and attitude of our employees.

“For us, it is a combination of possessing both the right outlook and know-how that makes a candidate stand out,” he said.

As for competition with other technology players in Malaysia, he said Endava is highly focused on delivering digital acceleration strategies for customers.

“We believe that the journey of digital growth does not have an end-point but evolves as a continuous, iterative process.

“Unlike digital transformation, which implies a clear and finite ending, new technologies, changing business conditions, and competitive pressures mean that companies must always be moving forward and changing their digital properties,” he said.

In terms of investments, Lazar said at this stage, Endava is focused on growing and developing its team so that it could better serve its regional customers.

He said the local IT market is one of the most mature in South-East Asia, adding that it is looking forward to creating opportunities for senior and highly skilled staff to develop the right digital acceleration strategies and solutions for customers.

”We are also investing in IT talent by developing partnerships with local universities to support the growth and development of young talent in the IT industry.

“Endava aims to establish Internship and graduate programmes, student competitions, and dedicated events, all of which are aimed at providing the younger generation the means to build a meaningful career,” he added. 

Source: The Star

Endava planning expansion in Asia

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