Japan giant Tokuyama has full confidence in Sarawak venture

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Akira SanukiJapan’s Tokuyama Corporation is one of the major global players to set up a plant in Sarawak’s Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu. The energy provided by the Bakun Dam is a key factor in Tokuyama’s decision to choose Sarawak.
Inside Investor talked to Akira Sanuki, Director-President of Tokuyama Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian subsidiary of Tokuyama Corporation, about the project.

Tokuyama Corporation, Japan’s chemicals and cement giant, is putting its faith in Sarawak’s investment-friendly policies and improving infrastructure to help it become a world leader in supplying polycrystalline silicon for the production of solar cells, particularly in the Middle East.

Mr Akira Sanuki, Director-President of Tokuyama Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian subsidiary of Tokuyama Corporation, said he was confident the company’s two plants in Sarawak’s Samalaju Industrial Park would help it capture a large share of the polycrystalline silicon market.

Tokuyama is building two plants in SIP, which is part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) project to boost the economy of Malaysia’s largest state, with eventual capacity to produce more than 20,000 tonnes of polycrystalline silicon a year.“We have the potential to become number one in this industry,” said Mr Sanuki. “We have the know-how and the experience.”

“Not only can we be number one amongst our competitors but we can provide a higher quality of product than anyone else.”

“In addition, we can offer excellent customer service and competitive prices. We have high hopes for our Sarawak plants and we are happy to be in Malaysia.”

The Middle East is seen as a potentially lucrative market for solar energy as oil reserves gradually dwindle. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are already considering attractive tariff policies to promote solar energy in their countries, even though it will be some years yet before Gulf nations can start to wean themselves off oil.

Mr Sanuki said once Tokuyama Malaysia starts to reach their production capacity of 20,000-plus tonnes in 2015, the company could produce enough polycrystalline silicon to meet global market needs, including that of the Middle East.

“Right now, our capacity is not enough,” he said. “But our second polycrystalline silicon plant in Malaysia will be completed by 2015 and by that time, we will be able to be competitive.”

The first plant is due for completion in September 2013 at a cost of RM3 billion and will produce 6,200 tonnes of polycrystalline silicon a year.

Construction of the second plant, costing RM3.72 billion, will start in April, 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2015 with an annual capacity of 13,800 tonnes.

Tokuyama currently enjoys a 5-10 per cent world market share in polycrystalline silicon for solar cells and is hoping its Malaysian production will help to raise its standing against tough competition from South Korea and China.

The company also has a 20 per cent market share in polycrystalline silicon for semi-conductors.

Tokuyama Malaysia is expected to employ up to 500 staff from Sarawak to work on its plants as well as acquire property and take part in infrastructural projects related to its core business.

Mr Sanuki said Tokuyama Corporation had previously wanted to build a factory in Kerala, India.

However, the company was swayed by Sarawak’s preferential tax laws and supporting infrastructure, especially the Bakun Dam 180 away from SIP, which will supply Tokuyama with 140 megawatts of power to serve their production needs.

“We looked around the region and almost decided on Kerala,” said Mr Sanuki. “But we knew about the Bakun Dam and at the end of 2010,

I came to Sarawak to have a look for myself after my director in Japan asked me to study the situation.

“Our industry requires a lot of power and because the Bakun Dam would serve our needs, it was influential in our decision to come to Sarawak.”

Apart from investing a lot of money into the Sarawak economy, Tokuyama will also bring plenty of industrial expertise and know-how to the region.

Mr Sanuki said the company hopes to launch a long-term education programme to enhance local talent in their specific industry, which may include internships in Japan.

“They can go to Japan and gain basic skills and expertise and then come back to Sarawak and we can work together,” said Mr Sanuki.

Clearly, Tokuyama Malaysia is ready to plant deep roots in Sarawak with the dual purpose of boosting its own business objectives and contributing to the region’s economic growth.

Tokuyama Malaysia is one of the key companies who have placed their trust in Sarawak and is confident of benefiting in terms of profit margin and good will over the long run.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Japan’s Tokuyama Corporation is one of the major global players to set up a plant in Sarawak’s Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu. The energy provided by the Bakun Dam is a key factor in Tokuyama’s decision to choose Sarawak.
Inside Investor talked to Akira Sanuki, Director-President of Tokuyama Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian subsidiary of Tokuyama Corporation, about the project.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Akira SanukiJapan’s Tokuyama Corporation is one of the major global players to set up a plant in Sarawak’s Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu. The energy provided by the Bakun Dam is a key factor in Tokuyama’s decision to choose Sarawak.
Inside Investor talked to Akira Sanuki, Director-President of Tokuyama Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian subsidiary of Tokuyama Corporation, about the project.

Tokuyama Corporation, Japan’s chemicals and cement giant, is putting its faith in Sarawak’s investment-friendly policies and improving infrastructure to help it become a world leader in supplying polycrystalline silicon for the production of solar cells, particularly in the Middle East.

Mr Akira Sanuki, Director-President of Tokuyama Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the Malaysian subsidiary of Tokuyama Corporation, said he was confident the company’s two plants in Sarawak’s Samalaju Industrial Park would help it capture a large share of the polycrystalline silicon market.

Tokuyama is building two plants in SIP, which is part of the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (Score) project to boost the economy of Malaysia’s largest state, with eventual capacity to produce more than 20,000 tonnes of polycrystalline silicon a year.“We have the potential to become number one in this industry,” said Mr Sanuki. “We have the know-how and the experience.”

“Not only can we be number one amongst our competitors but we can provide a higher quality of product than anyone else.”

“In addition, we can offer excellent customer service and competitive prices. We have high hopes for our Sarawak plants and we are happy to be in Malaysia.”

The Middle East is seen as a potentially lucrative market for solar energy as oil reserves gradually dwindle. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are already considering attractive tariff policies to promote solar energy in their countries, even though it will be some years yet before Gulf nations can start to wean themselves off oil.

Mr Sanuki said once Tokuyama Malaysia starts to reach their production capacity of 20,000-plus tonnes in 2015, the company could produce enough polycrystalline silicon to meet global market needs, including that of the Middle East.

“Right now, our capacity is not enough,” he said. “But our second polycrystalline silicon plant in Malaysia will be completed by 2015 and by that time, we will be able to be competitive.”

The first plant is due for completion in September 2013 at a cost of RM3 billion and will produce 6,200 tonnes of polycrystalline silicon a year.

Construction of the second plant, costing RM3.72 billion, will start in April, 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2015 with an annual capacity of 13,800 tonnes.

Tokuyama currently enjoys a 5-10 per cent world market share in polycrystalline silicon for solar cells and is hoping its Malaysian production will help to raise its standing against tough competition from South Korea and China.

The company also has a 20 per cent market share in polycrystalline silicon for semi-conductors.

Tokuyama Malaysia is expected to employ up to 500 staff from Sarawak to work on its plants as well as acquire property and take part in infrastructural projects related to its core business.

Mr Sanuki said Tokuyama Corporation had previously wanted to build a factory in Kerala, India.

However, the company was swayed by Sarawak’s preferential tax laws and supporting infrastructure, especially the Bakun Dam 180 away from SIP, which will supply Tokuyama with 140 megawatts of power to serve their production needs.

“We looked around the region and almost decided on Kerala,” said Mr Sanuki. “But we knew about the Bakun Dam and at the end of 2010,

I came to Sarawak to have a look for myself after my director in Japan asked me to study the situation.

“Our industry requires a lot of power and because the Bakun Dam would serve our needs, it was influential in our decision to come to Sarawak.”

Apart from investing a lot of money into the Sarawak economy, Tokuyama will also bring plenty of industrial expertise and know-how to the region.

Mr Sanuki said the company hopes to launch a long-term education programme to enhance local talent in their specific industry, which may include internships in Japan.

“They can go to Japan and gain basic skills and expertise and then come back to Sarawak and we can work together,” said Mr Sanuki.

Clearly, Tokuyama Malaysia is ready to plant deep roots in Sarawak with the dual purpose of boosting its own business objectives and contributing to the region’s economic growth.

Tokuyama Malaysia is one of the key companies who have placed their trust in Sarawak and is confident of benefiting in terms of profit margin and good will over the long run.

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