Energising Sarawak

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Sarawak Cable Berhad Group Managing Director Aaron Toh Chee Ching
Sarawak Cable Berhad Group Managing Director Aaron Toh Chee Ching

Sarawak Cable Berhad is one of the leading cable manufacturers in Sarawak  and produces two types of power cables, wires and conductors, which are low voltage power cables and wires and high voltage bare conductors.
The manufacturing of power cables and wires refers to the use of raw materials such as copper or aluminium coils, which are then stranded or twisted to the required specifications and may or may not be insulated and protected.
Sarawak Cable also manufactures high voltage bare conductors that support voltage in excess of 33kV, which includes, All Aluminium Conductors, All Aluminium Alloy Conductors, All Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced, and Aluminium Binding Wires.
Products also include low-tension/high-tension distribution steel poles, street lighting column and highway guardrails, structural steel, tower/poles, steel bridges, galvanising services, and all related accessories for distribution of steel poles.
Besides that, Sarawak Cable is one of the established hot-dip galvanisers in Sarawak and have the capability to galvanise steel structures range from ten meters up to 17 meters in length. The company also undertakes supply, installation and commissioning of power cables on a project basis.
Inside Investor caught up with the company’s Group Managing Director Aaron Toh Chee Ching to learn more about his objectives.

Q: Could you give an overview of your company, your products, and the cable sector as such?

A: Our main products are low voltage power cables and high voltage conductors for overhead distribution and transmission lines. We are also manufacturer of steel poles, fabricator of transmission tower, galvanising services and etc. We are also integrated into EPC contractors in the transmission line industry.

Q: What are the main markets for your products? How much of the production is exported, how much is consumed in the country?

A: We do not export cables and other products at all so far, they are used within the country. Our main markets are private contractors, and utility companies like Sabah Electricity and SEB. Most of our manufactured products are consumed by infrastructure projects that the government is implementing in Sabah and Sarawak.

Q: What would be your main competitors in Malaysia?

A: In the sector of cable manufacturing, there are quite a number of producers in Malaysia. But in terms of transmission projects in Sarawak, we are the biggest. There are also a number of contractors and suppliers which are not really competitors but our partners as we are integrated into the power transmission lines infrastructure.

Q: What are the growth prospects in the cable industry?

A: If you look at the cable industry as a whole in Malaysia, only Sabah and Sarawak are still growing, as up to 20 per cent of the area is not yet supplied with electricity. The infrastructure in West Malaysia is almost completed and there is not much room for growth. The current requirement is restricted to replacements, refurbishment, and upgrading the existing transmission lines network. For us, in Sarawak and also in Sabah, the business is sustainable because the transmission lines network is not complete yet. A lot still needs to be implemented.

Q: Do you have a research section to develop new products for the market?

A: Yes, we have an R&D facility in our factory which is more for in-house purposes such as to design effective production processes, minimize loss of raw materials, and reduce waste. We also emphasise quality assurance standards. Maybe there is potential for new cable products in industrialised nations, but in this region that is currently not our focus as we need to focus more on our competitive production capability and capacity and remain as a premium producer.

Q: Where are you getting your raw materials from?

A: We buy them in West Malaysia and are also importing some, for example from Indonesia.

Q: Would you be open to business partnerships and/or joint ventures with overseas investors, for example from the GCC?

A: No, mainly because we are still small. In the short time, I don’t think we are attractive to foreign investors. When we grow to certain size, then we might be an offer for overseas investor.

Q: Who stands behind Sarawak Cable? Who are your main shareholders?

A: The major corporate shareholders are Sarawak Energy Berhad, Leader Cable, and Central Paragon.

Q: What are your future expansion plans?

A: We are actually very aggressive. In the next three to five years we plan to double the current size. The growth will not necessarily be based on the core business as such, but on acquisitions. We are looking for opportunities and synergistic businesses to merge and grow faster, preferably within Sarawak because that is our home. At the moment, we have almost completed the whole chain of the transmission line sector. Thus, we might look out of Malaysia and bid for projects in other countries in the region, such as Indonesia, Myanmar, or Vietnam. I believe we are very competitive and can compete with any other company. These are our plans. We are also currently networking with international players to look for possible future business partnerships abroad.

Q: How do you find enough qualified personnel for your operations?

A: The current management team is adopting a very active management system and is operating the business transparently and professionally. There is no shortage of management people. What we may face is that there will be a shortage of skilled workers, which is a problem for the entire industry here. The demand for skilled workers is growing very fast, and we foresee keen competition from SCORE in the demand for more skilled workers. So, we have to prepare through our progressive training programmes, persuade transfer of know-how from international partner corporations. We want to train more of our local people to equip ourselves with sufficient training and exposure through effective human resources planning.

Q: Your group is also acting as EPC Contractor for installation of transmission lines. What have been the largest projects lately?

A: There are several transmission line infrastructure projects that have been successfully implemented in Sarawak . We are directly and indirectly involve in the Bakun Hydro Power Transmission Line and other major transmission line projects in the state. We are also geared up and prepare to participate in the planned transmission lines in Sarawak and Sabah.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Sarawak Cable Berhad Group Managing Director Aaron Toh Chee Ching

Sarawak Cable Berhad is one of the leading cable manufacturers in Sarawak  and produces two types of power cables, wires and conductors, which are low voltage power cables and wires and high voltage bare conductors.
The manufacturing of power cables and wires refers to the use of raw materials such as copper or aluminium coils, which are then stranded or twisted to the required specifications and may or may not be insulated and protected.
Sarawak Cable also manufactures high voltage bare conductors that support voltage in excess of 33kV, which includes, All Aluminium Conductors, All Aluminium Alloy Conductors, All Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced, and Aluminium Binding Wires.
Products also include low-tension/high-tension distribution steel poles, street lighting column and highway guardrails, structural steel, tower/poles, steel bridges, galvanising services, and all related accessories for distribution of steel poles.
Besides that, Sarawak Cable is one of the established hot-dip galvanisers in Sarawak and have the capability to galvanise steel structures range from ten meters up to 17 meters in length. The company also undertakes supply, installation and commissioning of power cables on a project basis.
Inside Investor caught up with the company’s Group Managing Director Aaron Toh Chee Ching to learn more about his objectives.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Sarawak Cable Berhad Group Managing Director Aaron Toh Chee Ching
Sarawak Cable Berhad Group Managing Director Aaron Toh Chee Ching

Sarawak Cable Berhad is one of the leading cable manufacturers in Sarawak  and produces two types of power cables, wires and conductors, which are low voltage power cables and wires and high voltage bare conductors.
The manufacturing of power cables and wires refers to the use of raw materials such as copper or aluminium coils, which are then stranded or twisted to the required specifications and may or may not be insulated and protected.
Sarawak Cable also manufactures high voltage bare conductors that support voltage in excess of 33kV, which includes, All Aluminium Conductors, All Aluminium Alloy Conductors, All Aluminium Conductor Steel Reinforced, and Aluminium Binding Wires.
Products also include low-tension/high-tension distribution steel poles, street lighting column and highway guardrails, structural steel, tower/poles, steel bridges, galvanising services, and all related accessories for distribution of steel poles.
Besides that, Sarawak Cable is one of the established hot-dip galvanisers in Sarawak and have the capability to galvanise steel structures range from ten meters up to 17 meters in length. The company also undertakes supply, installation and commissioning of power cables on a project basis.
Inside Investor caught up with the company’s Group Managing Director Aaron Toh Chee Ching to learn more about his objectives.

Q: Could you give an overview of your company, your products, and the cable sector as such?

A: Our main products are low voltage power cables and high voltage conductors for overhead distribution and transmission lines. We are also manufacturer of steel poles, fabricator of transmission tower, galvanising services and etc. We are also integrated into EPC contractors in the transmission line industry.

Q: What are the main markets for your products? How much of the production is exported, how much is consumed in the country?

A: We do not export cables and other products at all so far, they are used within the country. Our main markets are private contractors, and utility companies like Sabah Electricity and SEB. Most of our manufactured products are consumed by infrastructure projects that the government is implementing in Sabah and Sarawak.

Q: What would be your main competitors in Malaysia?

A: In the sector of cable manufacturing, there are quite a number of producers in Malaysia. But in terms of transmission projects in Sarawak, we are the biggest. There are also a number of contractors and suppliers which are not really competitors but our partners as we are integrated into the power transmission lines infrastructure.

Q: What are the growth prospects in the cable industry?

A: If you look at the cable industry as a whole in Malaysia, only Sabah and Sarawak are still growing, as up to 20 per cent of the area is not yet supplied with electricity. The infrastructure in West Malaysia is almost completed and there is not much room for growth. The current requirement is restricted to replacements, refurbishment, and upgrading the existing transmission lines network. For us, in Sarawak and also in Sabah, the business is sustainable because the transmission lines network is not complete yet. A lot still needs to be implemented.

Q: Do you have a research section to develop new products for the market?

A: Yes, we have an R&D facility in our factory which is more for in-house purposes such as to design effective production processes, minimize loss of raw materials, and reduce waste. We also emphasise quality assurance standards. Maybe there is potential for new cable products in industrialised nations, but in this region that is currently not our focus as we need to focus more on our competitive production capability and capacity and remain as a premium producer.

Q: Where are you getting your raw materials from?

A: We buy them in West Malaysia and are also importing some, for example from Indonesia.

Q: Would you be open to business partnerships and/or joint ventures with overseas investors, for example from the GCC?

A: No, mainly because we are still small. In the short time, I don’t think we are attractive to foreign investors. When we grow to certain size, then we might be an offer for overseas investor.

Q: Who stands behind Sarawak Cable? Who are your main shareholders?

A: The major corporate shareholders are Sarawak Energy Berhad, Leader Cable, and Central Paragon.

Q: What are your future expansion plans?

A: We are actually very aggressive. In the next three to five years we plan to double the current size. The growth will not necessarily be based on the core business as such, but on acquisitions. We are looking for opportunities and synergistic businesses to merge and grow faster, preferably within Sarawak because that is our home. At the moment, we have almost completed the whole chain of the transmission line sector. Thus, we might look out of Malaysia and bid for projects in other countries in the region, such as Indonesia, Myanmar, or Vietnam. I believe we are very competitive and can compete with any other company. These are our plans. We are also currently networking with international players to look for possible future business partnerships abroad.

Q: How do you find enough qualified personnel for your operations?

A: The current management team is adopting a very active management system and is operating the business transparently and professionally. There is no shortage of management people. What we may face is that there will be a shortage of skilled workers, which is a problem for the entire industry here. The demand for skilled workers is growing very fast, and we foresee keen competition from SCORE in the demand for more skilled workers. So, we have to prepare through our progressive training programmes, persuade transfer of know-how from international partner corporations. We want to train more of our local people to equip ourselves with sufficient training and exposure through effective human resources planning.

Q: Your group is also acting as EPC Contractor for installation of transmission lines. What have been the largest projects lately?

A: There are several transmission line infrastructure projects that have been successfully implemented in Sarawak . We are directly and indirectly involve in the Bakun Hydro Power Transmission Line and other major transmission line projects in the state. We are also geared up and prepare to participate in the planned transmission lines in Sarawak and Sabah.

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