On June 24, last year, we added another milestone to Penang’s achievements when Bosch Solar announced their decision to invest in a fully integrated crystalline photovoltaic plant at Batu Kawan. Today’s signing ceremony of the sales & purchase agreement with Penang Development Corporation denotes Bosch’s commitment to its investments in a PV plant in Penang.
Bosch Solar’s 520 million euro (approximately RM2.2 billion) investment in Penang is expected to generate 2000 new jobs in various aspects of crystalline PV production. The Penang facility is envisaged to grow by 30% in the coming years as the facility will adopt and implement state-of-the-art cell technologies coupled with enhanced production processes.
Data by GTM Research, a US-based media company providing market analysis on green technology indicates that China and Taiwan accounts for 59% of the cell production followed by Europe (13%), Japan (9%) and North America (5%). The remaining 14% are from the rest of the world, comprising mainly Singapore, the Philippines and Malaysia. In 2010, the Malaysia Photovoltaic Industry Association claimed that Malaysia is the fourth largest PV producer in the world. With Bosch joining the existing PV producers in the country by 2014, Malaysia’s aspiration to the second largest PV producer in the world after China by 2020 could become a reality.
Between the year 2000 and 2010, annual PV production has grown nearly 100 folds from a mere 277 Mw to 24,000 Mw. The year 2010 was also a record year for newly installed PV as 16,600 Mw were installed in more than 100 countries.
Robert Bosch has been in Penang for the past 40 years and is still expanding today. We are pleased that Bosch has chosen Penang for its solar energy venture after it has initially explored and analysed forty-five (45) sites in twenty-three (23) countries. In Malaysia itself, Bosch evaluated over 10 sites.
Why Bosch chose Penang over all other sites is due to the investment climate which is business-friendly, availability of a deep pool of human talent, an efficient supply chain management, an effective logistics hub, good governance that ensures delivery, a competent training center of excellence for research & development and building scientists and engineers, a livable city that embraces art, culture and heritage as well as a sustainable eco-system where green initiatives and healthy living is the preferred lifestyle.
All these reasons combine to make Penang top in investment for the first time in 2010 with RM 12.2 billion and surprisingly repeated again as champion in 2011 with RM 9.1 billion.
I am positive that Penang’s drive toward green technology will be further enhanced with Bosch’s commitment in setting up a fully integrated crystalline PV production plant in Penang. Last but not least, I would like to thank Bosch for making the right choice in deciding on Penang to apply its new and innovative cell technologies with the aim to thrive in a highly competitive market.