Renewable energy space slowly getting crowded with entry of non-solar players

ANYTHING to do with renewable energy (RE) maybe the latest business craze among Malaysian public listed companies (PLC) today as the glove making and COVID-19 vaccine distribution hype has quietened down considerably.

Electrical products and accessories distributor ACO Group Bhd is the latest PLC to jump onto the RE bandwagon as it expands its product range to include electrical supplies for the growing solar photovoltaic (PV) industry.

ACO Group has received its maiden solar PV project order of US$1.41 mil (RM5.84 mil) from EV Connection Sdn Bhd (EVC) to supply solar panels and inverters for its 6 megawatt (MW) solar PV commercial and industrial buildings projects.

EVC is a provider of solar engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) solutions as well as a leading one-stop electric mobility service provider that specialises in electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions and EV charging stations.

The rise of the domestic solar industry in recent years has presented various business opportunities across the supply chain with the electrical supply industry being one of the many beneficiaries of the solar boom.

As installation of solar PV systems increase, the demand for electrical equipment and supplies also grows.

The roll-out of mega projects under the large-scale solar (LSS) programme such as LSS@Mentari’s 1,000MW new quota and the net energy metering 3.0 (NEM) programme’s 500MW of fresh new quotas have been the key catalysts for demand growth.

Against the favourable backdrop, ACO Group is making its way to grab a slice of the multi-billion-ringgit solar pie.

“The upcoming roll-out of LSS@Mentari programme will be a booster to the solar industry’s value chain as more large-scale solar plants will be installed in the next two to three years which translates to higher demand for electrical supplies,” ACO Group’s group managing director Tang Pee Tee @ Tan Chang Kim pointed out.

“We believe it is timely for us to grow in this market segment to capitalise on the flourishing growth potentials. We look forward to expand our footprint in the solar industry.”

Obviously, ACO Group is not alone in the RE venture.

On Mar 3, Yinson Holdings Bhd which is rapidly expanding its renewables footprint said its subsidiary Rising Sun Energy (K) Pvt Ltd has received a letter of award from NTPC Ltd to develop and operate a 190MW grid-connected solar PV power project at the Nokh Solar Park in Rajasthan, India.

Towards this end, Yinson will sign a 25-year power purchase agreement valued at RM1.5 bil with NTPC which is India’s largest power utility. The plant is expected to be operational by April 2022.

On the same day, quarry product and civil engineering-based Minetech Resources Bhd announced that it has successfully registered itself as a Registered Solar PV Investor with the Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (SEDA) under the NEM 3.0 Programme.

NEM 3.0 which comes under the purview of the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry (KeTSA) offers a quota of 500 megawatts (MW) from 2021 to 2023 to encourage RE growth vis-à-vis the installation of solar PV systems on roof tops of buildings (i.e government agencies, houses of worship or private companies).

On Mar 1, oil & gas (O&G) contractor Uzma Bhd revealed that it is expanding its RE division which has started with solar NEM projects as well as being in the midst of bidding for LSS4 projects.

According to Uzma, the new renewable business segment is part of its five-year plan to broaden its earnings base and to build a healthy revenue mix of ongoing O&G upstream projects as well as building a non-O&G segment underpinned by stable and recurring revenue. – Mar 11, 2021

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