Thursday, December 8, 2011


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Assalamualaikum W.B.T, Good Morning and Salam 1Malaysia.

Mr. Franz Vollmann,

Managing Director of Q-Cells Malaysia;

Mr. Iruthaya Das Arulanadam,

Finance Director of Q-Cells Malaysia;

Mr. Hannes Behacker,

Senior Vice President of Asia-Pacific/Middle East, Q-Cells SE;

Members of the Media; and

Honourable Guests.

1. Firstly, I would like to thank Q-Cells for inviting me to officiate this event here today, named ‘Q-Cells in Focus: A World of Sunshine’.

2. It is indeed a pleasure for me to be back here again, as I had visited the Q-Cells manufacturing plant a few months back and had been very impressed by their technology, their emphasis on quality and the way the production activities are operated.

3. Personally, I am all for pushing forward the development of Green Technologies (GT) in Malaysia, and am confident that the solar industry has big potential in the local market as well as in the region.

4. As you are aware, the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program for renewable energy was implemented on 1st of December. This marks the beginning of a new era for renewable energy and Green technologies in Malaysia.

5. Today, we are gathered here at the premises of Q-Cells, one of the leading PV companies worldwide. I am told that apart from its manufacturing facility in Thalheim, Germany, where the company’s headquarters are located, the manufacturing facility in Malaysia is the group’s second production plant.

6. I have been informed that Q-Cells have chosen Malaysia out of 30 countries to invest in. The Malaysian Government is delighted to have a technological leader which holds four world records for technologies it has created and made available to the world of PV -to establish its presence here in Malaysia, thus enabling the hoped transfer of knowledge & expertise and making its high-quality products easily accessible to the local PV market.

7. To date, with its manufacturing facility, state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, technology and knowledge transfer as well as continuous optimisation activities, the Q-Cells Group has invested close to RM1.5 billion in Malaysia.

8. Malaysia’s economy and population is growing and this has brought about an increasing energy demand along with sustainability and environmental issues. Since we are all; globally faced with finite energy resources and would also like to significantly reduce our CO2 emission, we will have to quickly take into consideration and manage the aspects of energy generation as the country strives towards a high-income economy.

9. With the recently passed Renewable Energy Act and Sustainable Energy Development Act, Malaysia has shifted its fuel mix from the 4-fuel strategy consisting of gas, coal, hydropower and oil to include renewable energy.

10. Malaysia has had the advantage of being more or less insulated against global fuel price fluctuation that has occurred in the past years. However, with fossil fuels depleting fast, the decision for a renewable energy of the future has to be made wisely. Malaysia, with its abundance of sunlight, is in an excellent position to make solar PV a very viable form of generating energy.

11. However, to build up a solid and high-quality solar industry in the local market, we need accurate data, we need proven technological know-how and we need technical expertise. Q-Cells to my mind offers experience of 3GW of built-up installations using its cell technology and about 500 MW of PV systems installed by Q-Cells as a system integrator.

12. We have heard from Mr. Vollmann that the new Q-Cells Solar Testfield provides performance data on various solar technologies, (for example, crystalline and thin film), used in the tropical climate. The analyses of these will bring the Malaysian solar market a step up and I understand that these data will also be made available to interested customers and business partners.

Distinguished Guests,

13. I would be remiss in my duties if I did not share with you some of the wonderful initiatives undertaken by the Government to incentivise the renewable energy industry.

· Firstly, you could apply for Pioneer Status which exempts you 100% from paying income tax of statutory income for a period of 10 years.

· Investment tax allowance of 100% on the qualifying capital expenditure incurred within a period of 5 years.

· Exemption from import duty and sales tax on imported machinery, equipment, materials, components, spare parts/replacement parts and consumables (as per section 14(2) Customs Act 1967).

· Exemption from sales tax on machinery, equipment, materials, components, spare parts/replacement parts and consumables purchased from local manufacturers (as per section 10 Sales Tax Act 1972).

· Under the Budget 2009 and 2011, Import duty and sales tax exemption on solar photovoltaic system equipment for the usage by third parties are given to importers, including photovoltaic services providers approved by the Energy Commission.

· Sales tax exemption on the purchase of solar heating system equipment from local manufacturers.

· These incentives are effective for applications received from 30 August 2008 till 31 December 2012.

14. For your information, at present a total of 101 projects benefitting from the said incentives have been approved. These projects are anticipated to generate approximately 530MW electricity from biomass and mini hydro, 187.22 KWP electricity from solar, 804,000 ton steam, 1,400 GJ heat and 1,000 RT chilled water. In this context, the new Renewable Energy (RE) policy will transform Malaysia to become a leader in renewable energy and also in Green technology applications.

15. In this way, Malaysia will progress into a nation that is able to satisfy its own energy needs from indigenous RE resources, be independent from fuel imports, a be a leader in Green technology development while able to conserve its natural environment so that it can also be enjoyed by future generations.

16. A sustainable local RE industry could help mitigate green house gas emissions due to power generation from fossil fuel while creating a new source of economic activity for the country. It is envisaged the new RE policy will put Malaysia on the forefront of ASEAN countries to pursue Green technology aggressively towards a sustainable future for our country.

17. Also, this policy aims to enhance the utilisation of indigenous RE resources to contribute towards national electricity supply security and sustainable socioeconomic development.

18. Allow me to crystallise the objectives of this policy. It is to:

· increase RE contribution in the national power generation mix;

· facilitate the growth of the RE industry;

· ensure reasonable RE generation costs;

· conserve the environment for future generations; and

· enhance awareness on the role and importance of RE.

19. Therefore, the Government has established the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) to administer and manage the implementation of the feed-in tariff mechanism which is mandated under the Renewable Energy Act 2011 (Act 725).

20. You may also be interested to know that the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Programme functions as a support mechanism to the RE policy which allows electricity that is produced from indigenous RE resources to be sold to power utilities at a fixed premium price and for a specific duration.

21. For companies to generate electricity from RE resources there are 2 types of licenses:

· Public License (for sale to utility provider) e.g. TNB and SESB; and

· Private License (for own consumption).

22. Foreign equity allowed for FiT programme is up to 49 percent. Please do access for further information.

Honourable Guests,

23. Before I take my leave, I would urge you to take advantage of this opportunity at this event to share and gain from discussions. We look forward to your contribution to help develop Malaysia into a leading hub in the region for the solar industry and to pave the ‘Green’ way for the country into the future. I would also like to once again thank the organisers for their kind invitation.

24. With that, I hereby officially declare today’s event, Q-Cells in Focus: A World of Sunshine officially open and wish all guests of Q-Cells an informative and fruitful event. I wish the Management of Q-Cells with all its staff success in helping to shape the future of solar energy in Malaysia.

Thank you.

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