One of the manufacturing projects announced by Malaysia’s international trade and industry minister Datuk Darell Leiking with that tweet on Friday is an MYR2 billion ($483 million) glass factory which will manufacture PV as well as float glass.
The identity of the “multinational glass manufacturer” referred to in a press release issued by the minister on his facebook account to publicize the move was not released but it was confirmed the facility will be built at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park, in the Sabah region.
In February, Malaysian newspaper the Daily Express had reported a Chinese silica-sand-based glass manufacturer was planning to build a factory at the industrial park, and that the producer already owned and operated a solar glass factory in Malaysia’s Malacca.
The company in question could be Chinese manufacturer Xinyi Solar, which has operated a 900-ton annual production capacity factory in Malacca through subsidiary Xinyi Solar (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd since 2016. The company has not responded to pv magazine’s request to confirm if the newly announced factory is part of its expansion plans for Malaysia.
Hong Kong-based glass manufacturer Sun Bear Solar Ltd had announced plans for a facility at the Kota Kinabalu park in 2010 but nothing has been heard of that proposed fab since.
The Indian government has imposed a trade penalty on textured, toughened (tempered) solar glass from Malaysia since February. The five-year duty of $114.58/metric ton is applicable on solar glass from all Malaysian producers except Xinyi Solar.