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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        23  June 2011

Bosh to open Malaysia solar facility

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Malaysia has strengthened its position as the world’s third largest hub for solar production with the latest entry by Germany’s Robert Bosch Gmbh which plans to invest RM2.2 billion to set up a photovoltaic plant in Batu Kawan, Penang.

The plant will be owned and managed by its Malaysian unit, Robert Bosch Sdn Bhd, with construction to start before year-end and due for completion by 2013.

Bosch will now join the ranks of other solar players which have set up plants in Malaysia such as Q-Cells Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Robert Bosch (Southeast Asia)Pte Ltd president and managing director Martin Hayes said the plant will serve the Asean market as well as compliment its seven photovoltaic plants in Europe.

It will also cater to the world market as well as help secure future photovoltaic businesses.

The Asian solar market alone is expected to grow at an annual rate of 30 percent.

“This plant will also help Europe meet its photovoltaic requirements of 32 gigawatts by 2015 from 2.3 gigawatts installed capacity right now,” Hayes told reporters at the company’s headquarters here yesterday.

The Penang plant will be Bosch’s first outside of Europe and also its first in Asia.

The integrated plant will make the entire spectrum of solar equipment such as wafers, ingots, solar cells and modules to be installed on roofs of private homes, companies or solar power plants to trim hefty electricity bills as well as reduce fossil fuel usage.

“Malaysia has been chosen from 23 countries due to its green policy and renewable energy focus, a committed government, experience in electrical, electronics and semiconductor industry, 45 industrial zones, good infrastructure and educational sector and an international ambience,” said Hayes, who is also Robert Bosch Sdn Bhd managing director.

He said once completed, the plant will have 2,000 associates working at the new site with a capacity of 640 megawatts a year enough to supply 165,000 homes in Europe and 300,000 homes in Malaysia.

Bosch Solar Energy entered the solar business in 2008. Right now, 60 percent of its revenue for the solar business is generated in Germany, registering e900 million (RM3.96 billion) alone which is expected to rise to e1 billion (RM4.40 billion) this year.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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