GEORGE TOWN, Oct 25 – The Nasdaq-listed Chinese solar cell manufacturing company JA Solar Holdings’ had official opened for the first solar cell manufacturing facility in Bayan Lepas, Penang and in Malaysia with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. The event was attended by Chinese ambassador Dr Huang Huikang, who acknowledged that Malaysia had gained momentum in the area of renewable energy in recent years.
JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd chief operating officer Xie Jian said the Penang facility on Medan Bayan Lepas was the company’s first outside China. He said that the decision who made by them which to locate in Penang is driven by many compelling reasons due to Penang is strategically located with good infrastructure for semi-conductor companies.
“In our dealings with the federal and state governments, both authorities have been welcoming and supportive of this project. Together with the highly skilled work force and cost competitive environment, there is a business-friendly investment climate here,” he said in speech at the opening of the plant on Friday morning.
Because of this, he said they have decided to make a long-term investment here and at the same time, support the government’s objectives to grow the renewable energy industry. Besides that, Dr Huang Huikang also said that the renewable energy would be widely used in Malaysia in the future, with the 11th Malaysia Plan pursuing green growth and targeting energy production deriving from renewable energy sources of 5.5% this year and 11% by 2020.
Dr Huang Huikang also noted that another Chinese solar firm, Jinko Solar, had set up shop in Penang on mainland Prai, indicating that Malaysia was a good location for investors. He said Malaysia can support its growth of the renewable energy industry by leveraging its competitive commercial environment, relatively advanced industrial capabilities, talent pool of well-educated engineers and preferential tax policies.
“That is why I believe that JA Solar could not have come (to Malaysia) at a more opportune time. It has invested about RM220 million to build this solar cell and module manufacturing facility, which is a very large investment from China in Penang. Supported by the local government and the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (Mida), we are proud to see JA Solar creating local jobs and promoting the development of Malaysia’s solar industry,” said Huang.
In the same time, he also added that JA solar would be another building block in the cementing China-Malaysia energy cooperation under the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives with the company who helping to build a greener Malaysia and Asean.
Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng also congratulated to Huang on bringing more Chinese investors to Malaysia and Penang, as one such as JA Solar will be providing approximately 700 jobs at Penang. He said that the company will also generate new high income jobs in Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) and Technology for many of its workers.
Lim said JA Solar’s plans to invest US$70 (RM296 million) more in Penang could result in an additional 1,000 jobs. He said Penang was grateful to Huang and the Consul-General of China in Penang Wu Jun for their efforts in strengthening China-Malaysia ties.