Wednesday, September 23

German interest in Malaysia’s energy sector grows

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HANNOVER: Against the backdrop of the forthcoming five-day Hannover Industrial Fair, which kicks off on
April 4, German interest is conspicuously high in energy-providing countries, including Malaysia, whose prowess clearly lies in the area of solar energy.

Malaysia is participating in the Hannover show with a 16-member exhibitor contingent, along exhibitors from China, India, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, and will showcase its strength in the energy services sector, industrial supply and research and development.

German interest in Malaysia’s energy sector is also evident from the industry’s close monitoring of the changes taking place at the Selangor-based Malaysian subsidiary of Germany’s Q-Cells.

German experts point out that Malaysia has done pioneering work in the area of solar energy production.

Though Germany does not have any significant solar-energy producing plants, its forte lies in the production of wind energy.

Nowhere is this more visible than in and around the windy city of Hannover where windmill-like contraptions protrude and greet visitors arriving by planes, trains and automobiles.

It is no wonder that technology researchers and scientists from Malaysia’s academic institutions, when attending Hannover trade fairs, can barely take their eyes away from the wind-energy producing facilities.

Many German and Malaysian experts agree that marrying German expertise in wind-energy production with Malaysia’s solar-energy resources and facility could result in ‘incredible synergies’ that could benefit both sides.

The explosion caused in Japan’s atomic reactors following the tsunami-earthquake disaster has underscored the urgency of finding alternative sources of energy.

“Of course, it is not like instant coffee where you have to simply pour hot water into coffee powder and make coffee. You need expertise and years of R&D before any common goals and interests can be established,” says a Frankfurt-based researcher who has visited Malaysia.

But, he emphasised that Japan’s crisis has provided a strong impetus to search for alternatives.

“The momentum is very strong and you will see a great number of exchanges between German and Asian companies, including from Malaysia, on energy collaboration” he predicted.

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) and Kulim Technology Park Corporation are jointly leading the Malaysian contingent of exhibitors.

Three sub-sections of the exhibition namely industrial supply, energy, and research and technology, is set to interest Malaysian companies.

The Hannover Industrial Fair, rated as the world’s largest industrial show, is expected to attract more than 6,000 exhibitors and 200,000 trade visitors.

Monika Brandt, who looks after the international media at the Deutsche Messe AG, the trade fair organiser, told Bernama besides Malaysia, there would be large contingents of exhibitors from other Asian countries at the exhibition.

“France is the “partner country” at this year’s event,” Brandt added.

The FMM umbrella has received support from the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in organising Malaysia’s participation.

This will be Malaysia’s 16th consecutive annual participation at the Hannover show since the show started in 1947.

Malaysian companies are realising the benefits of participating in international shows such as the Hannover Industrial Fair which affords them, not only an opportunity to showcase their products and services, but also exposes them to marketing techniques of competitors and discerning international trends in industrial products.