Thursday, September 24

Spin-off effect from Tokuyama’s investment immense


BINTULU: Sarawak is delighted with Tokuyama Corporation opening a polycrystalline silicon factory in Samalaju Industrial Park as their investment could help woo other investors to the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) area.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who said this, explained that the presence of a giant company like Tokuyama would make economic transformation from a middle income to high income economy much easier.

“I have assured investors and potential investors alike that SCORE will be equipped with all the necessary facilities and infrastructure to facilitate their respective operations,” Taib said at the groundbreaking ceremony for Tokuyama’s polycrystalline silicon factory at the Bintulu Promenade yesterday.

The proposed factory is expected to produce 6,200 tons of polycrystalline silicon for solar cells annually.

Its power needs would be served by the Bakun Dam.

“The federal government has agreed that the renewable energy from Bakun Dam be used mainly for Sarawak,” Taib told those present.

The manufacturing of polycrystalline silicon is energy intensive and it also requires industrial water, skilled workers and other resources.

Such resources are available at the Samalaju Industrial Park.

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato Jacob Dungau Sagan, who was also present, said that SCORE was in a strategic investment location.

He said Tokuyama’s project would strengthen solar-related initiatives in Malaysia.

The factory will start operation with about 300 employees, of which 280 people are expected to be locals.

Commercial operation is scheduled to start in 2013.

To date, Tokuyama manufactures and sells polycrystalline silicon mainly for semiconductors, and the Tokuyama Factory in Shunan City, Yamaguchi, Japan, is the company’s only manufacturing base.

In order to increase its manufacturing volume to meet growing demand and also to diversify investment risk, the company decided to create its second manufacturing base in Sarawak.

Also present at the function were Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam and Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, Tokuyama Corporation president Kazuhisa Kogo, Tokuyama Malaysia Sdn Bhd president Akira Sanuki, chairman of MIDA Tan Sri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob and Japan’s Ambassador to Malaysia Masahiko Horie.