SD Guthrie set to invest RM2.5b to grow solar business in next three to five years - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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SD Guthrie set to invest RM2.5b to grow solar business in next three to five years

SD Guthrie set to invest RM2.5b to grow solar business in next three to five years

31 May 2024

SD Guthrie Bhd (formerly Sime Darby Plantation Bhd) plans to expand its involvement in large-scale solar (LSS) projects via land lease, own investment and equity share.

Group managing director Datuk Mohamad Helmy Othman Basha said the company aspires to own assets that can generate about one gigawatt of power, which would require an investment of RM2.5 billion, in the next three to five years.

The investment can deliver a high single-digit return on investment of eight to nine per cent on a project basis, he told a press conference in conjunction with the release of the company’s first-quarter results here today.

Mohamad Helmy said the company, which first leased its land for a solar photovoltaic (PV) project (with a 20-megawatt capacity) in 2018 under the first LSS programme (LSS1), has leased land for 12 LSS4 projects with a total capacity of 336 MW, or 40 per cent of the total quota awarded for solar farms under LSS4.


He said the company has also leased 11 sites for projects with a total capacity of 227 MW through the Corporate Green Power Programme (CGPP) that was launched in late 2022.

“We looked for less productive land (for the solar projects) and kept the more productive land for oil palm cultivation,” he said.

SD Guthrie is targeting to bid for an additional three sites under the upcoming LSS5 programme.

“We believe we can play a more active role (in the government’s energy transition plan) as we have a lot of land. Almost everyone that wants to develop a solar project comes to us,” he said.

In the 12th Malaysia Plan, the government is committed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Mohamad Helmy said that the government’s target to reduce the carbon footprint presents a good opportunity for the company to be a part of the nation’s net-zero ambition.

“Although this seems unrelated to the plantation business, we have to look at what our assets are, and our assets and business come from the land. Without land, there’s nothing.

“And it would be a missed opportunity if we don’t capitalise on this opportunity. Renewable energy, especially solar energy, is a very big and profitable business, as it provides consistent returns from rental,” he added.

Source: Bernama