China-based solar company Risen Energy Co. Ltd yesterday announced its first investment in Southeast Asia, with the aim to produce 3GW of high-efficiency photovoltaic modules to meet growing global demand.
The company is expanding its global footprint by opening its latest production base in Kulim Hi-Tech Park, Kedah, Malaysia, in response to the strong support and facilitation provided by the government.
Risen Energy has projected to invest a total of RM42.2 billion. This includes capex and operational expenditure over 15 years to undertake design and development activity, and manufacturing of solar cells and solar modules. The facility’s construction at Kulim High Tech Park will be completed by the end of this year, while commercial activities are expected to begin in Q1 2022. This new facility will contribute an annual production capacity of 3GW for the first five years.
At a video conference with Mr. Xie Jian, Chairman of the Board and President of Risen Energy yesterday morning, the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin welcomed Risen Energy’s decision to invest in Malaysia and noted its significant contribution of creating over 3,000 employment opportunities, with 800 managerial, technical and supervisory positions, including 500 engineers.
Referring to the project as an investment approved under the PENJANA Incentive Scheme to support the expansion of international investment projects in Malaysia, the Prime Minister said, “This represents a key win for Malaysia in proving our efforts to remain as the preferred investment location with a favourable environment for high quality investments in Asia.”
The Prime Minister added that the investment of Risen Energy will further solidify Malaysia’s role in the global photovoltaic industry and is in line with our National Investment Aspirations framework which contains the elements of high value added, high technology, knowledge and capital intensive, skills-intensive and high income jobs.
In his remarks, Mr. Xie Jian said, “The competitive advantages of Malaysia’s investment environment are mainly reflected in the following aspects: strategic location in the core area of Southeast Asia, solid economic foundation and good economic growth prospects. Further, Malaysia has abundant raw materials, high quality of human resources and harmonious ethnic relations whereby people get along well. Most importantly, the strong support and service from the state and local Governments.”
The company has said that its project in Malaysia will also benefit local businesses, particularly SMEs, and provide opportunities for them to become part of the global value chain. The multiplier effects will ensure positive social results and add value to the economy as a whole.
Upon operation, this facility is expected to create synergies and improve the company’s photovoltaic production capacity, while increasing profitable points and enhancing anti-risk ability which is critical for Risen Energy to foresee its sustainable, stable and rapid development in the future.
It can be noted here that Malaysia , along with Vietnam and Thailand in recent years, has usually been included on the list of countries targeted for action when it comes to solar imports, in India. Especially as the largest Chinese firms have picked these markets to establish manufacturing arms for exports. Even as we write this, India’s DGTR has an investigation going on for alleged dumping of material from these markets.