Consortium to invest RM6.8bil in Bintulu solar panel plant
17 Mar 2023
A consortium, comprising Chinese and Malaysian companies, plans to invest US$1.5bil (RM6.76bil) in the first integrated low carbon silicon-based materials plant to produce solar panels in Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu.
Consortium members Haitai Solar, China Machinery Engineering Corp (CMEC), Adam Digital Assets Sdn Bhd and Solar Pulse Sdn Bhd inked a cooperative agreement on the plant project during the three-day Carbon Conference 2023, which ends here today.
The signatories were Haitai Solar chairman Wang Yong, CMEC director Richard Zhang, Adam Digital chairman Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Solar Pulse president Izzat Sulaiman.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Sarawak Deputy Minister of International Trade, Industry and Investment Datuk Dr Malcolm Mussen Lamoh.
Haitai Solar is one of the world’s largest photovoltaic modules manufacturers, which focuses on green energy with five business divisions – photovoltaic modules, utility scale power plant, photovoltaic brackets, energy storage and hydrogen energy.
CMEC is an engineering procurement,construction and commissioning (EPCC) company, which has delivered many types of engineering projects. Solar Pulse has an extensive experience in self consumption rooftop solar projects in Malaysia.
Sarawak-based Adam Digital, which conceptualised the integrated low carbon silicon-based materials plant project, provides innovative green energy solutions to the region. Khalid said the plant project is expected to kick off next year for completion in 2025.
The plant is scheduled to be fully operational by 2026.
“The establishment of the factory involving investment worth RM6.8bil will be the pioneer in South-East Asia that utilises a raw material – silica – to produce solar panels. It will have a positive impact to Sarawak economically, socially and environmentally.
According to Khalid, upon fully operational, the plant is expected to employ 200 professionals and 3,800 skilled workers.
This will help to achieve 40% of the Sarawak Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030’s target of creating new employment opportunities in the high-tech related industries.
The consortium will be working closely with skilled institutions, colleges and universities in Sarawak to come up with designated modules, specifically on solar technology, to train more highly skilled personnel in the industry.
Malcolm Mussen said, as the consortium would introduce new silicon technology that is more environmentally friendly, it would help reduce the level of carbon emissions in line with Sarawak’s Green Economy agenda.
“I believe that with this new innovation and technology, Sarawak will be seen as a pioneer in the global warming initiative to reduce low-carbon emissions, and the ministry supports such efforts,” he added.
Meanwhile, at the conference, SaraCarbon Sdn Bhd has been granted a forest carbon study permit by the Sarawak government.
The permit allows the company to study the potential of undertaking a carbon nature-based project within Samling industrial tree plantation area in Marudi,northern Sarawak.
SaraCarbon chief executive officer Lawrence Chia said the permit would allow the development of a project that is potentially a game-changer in driving Sarawak’s pivot towards green energy.
Chia, who is also Samling Strategic Corp Sdn Bhd CEO said the Marudi project is aligned with the state government’s objective to reduce greenhouses gases and to provide a new source of revenue for Sarawak.
Separately, Petroleum Sarawak Bhd has been issued with the first licence for carbon storage to begin its strategic role as a manager for Sarawak’s natural carbon capture,utilisation and storage resources.
The licence from Sarawak Land and Survey Department covers an area located in the North Luconia Province offshore Bintulu.
Source: The Star