Comtec Solar Systems Group, a global leader in the production of solar silicon ingots and wafers, will invest some RM1.2 billion to build a solar wafer manufacturing plant in the Samajaya Free Industrial Zone in Sarawak.
Fig 1: N-type monocrystalline silicon ingot and wafers.
- The company will produce n-type monocrystalline silicon wafers targeting customers such as Sunpower and Panasonic
Speaking at the launch of the solar ingot pulling and wafer slicing plant in Kuching yesterday by Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, Comtec Chairman, John Zhang said construction of the first phase of the plant on a 16ha plot of land would commence by the end of the month and is expected to be ready by year-end.
Zhang commended the state on its well -developed solar manufacturing base and its experienced workforce, pointing out that the Malaysian operations would aim to employ 80% local staff out of the 1,300 expected employees at full capacity.
Comtec which also has facilities in Shanghai and Jiangsu Hai An, China, expects its Sarawak plant to be the world's largest when in full operation.
The company targets to supply its current clients including Sunpower in Malacca and Panasonic in Kulim by the first quarter of 2014.
Fig 1: N-type monocrystalline silicon ingot and wafers produced by Comtec Solar
Sarawak State Industrial Development Minister, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said Comtec's investment is a testimony that the state is distinctively attractive for foreign investors and remains one of the best investment destinations in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
With Tokuyama producing the polysilicon in Samalaju, the State Government will step up efforts to ensure that Sarawak can realise the entire solar value chain, from the upstream production of polysilicon to solar wafering and the further processing into solar cells and panels.
The Chief Minister and Datuk Amar Awang also called on local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to seize the opportunities arising from these foreign investments.
To-date there are some 7,000 workers in Samajaya, and almost all are locals.