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SolarQuarter South East Asia magazine had an exclusive conversation with Bor Hung Chong – Head of Business Development & Managing Director (Malaysia), NEFIN Group, wherein he spoke about the evolving solar landscape in Malaysia, NEFIN’s key business areas and milestones, challenges, and opportunities. He also gave us an idea about the company’s major projects in the region.
How has the solar landscape evolved in Malaysia over the last 5 years?
Malaysia’s solar industry has been one that is growing not at the fastest, but I would say the most consistent speed in SEA in the past 5 years. Several GWs of rooftop solar and LSS projects have been rolled out, with additional projects with innovative business models yet to come. The supply chain has definitely matured as the industry grew, with financing becoming increasingly accessible.
What are some key business areas NEFIN specializes in? What have been some milestones?
NEFIN delivers carbon neutrality solutions to our customers, which includes rooftop solar for the majority of our customers. Additionally, energy efficiency solutions, energy storage, carbon offsets, ESG reporting, etc. are services that we provide to work as partners for our customers to achieve their carbon reduction targets. A recent milestone for us is that customers are increasingly involving us earlier in their carbon reduction journey, with customers engaging us for scopes such as baseline assessment and target setting.
Which have been some major projects executed by NEFIN recently? What new projects are in the pipeline?
In the past few years, we have delivered such services for many Fortune 500 companies across the Asia Pacific, including the largest commercial PPA project in Malaysia, and customers some of which are public information, such as Intel, Lotus, Bosch, etc.
As a developer, what are some of the challenges you are facing currently? What corrective actions are needed to combat them?
There have been many microeconomic shocks in the past 3 years which have led to changes in the way customers approach their long-term investment plans, affecting their willingness to commit to long-term PPAs. We work closely with our customers and engage them earlier in their carbon reduction plans to involve in the planning, monitoring as well as execution of carbon reduction projects to adjust our resources accordingly.
How do you see South East Asia’s solar sector developing in the coming years?
With increasing energy costs and the increasing attractiveness of solar energy, whether from an ESG perspective or from an economic perspective, there will be exciting growth coming from SEA’s solar sector in the coming years. Innovative business models and international collaboration will be required for realizing the full potential of renewable energy in the region.