Young Danish Firm Scores Giant Deal in Malaysia

Recently established Denmark Solar Industry (DSI) – based in Copenhagen – is to build several large factories in Kemaman, Malaysia producing solar panels. The factories contract is worth 179 million DKK.
       “The order came faster than we had dared hope,” Per Pape, founder and main shareholder of the young Danish company said Thursday. Pape said the main reason that the company has been able to set up the project in such a short at time is that since the company was established, they have been spent most of that time nursing contacts in Malaysia. 
       “We are going to build around 10 factories, which will produce almost everything that has to do with solar energy including solar cells and components used in security or street lighting. What we have to do is deliver the components for the factories and educate the technicians,” Pape told Scandasia. 
       The initial facilities will employ 500 technicians and another 1,500 technicians by 2008. The long-term goal is to turn the entire area into the first solar valley in the world. 
       “The idea is that five to ten percent of the production is sold in SEA and 90 percent is to be sold back to Europe,” says Pape. 
       He says there is a simple reason as to why the company chose this area. “In 2008 we plan to produce our own solar cells, and it happens that the main component in solar cells is Silica. The sand at the beaches close to the area contains a very high amount of Silica, and that will make the production cheaper.” 
       Tax free The 179 million DKK contract will be underwritten by private investors in Malaysia, but the Malaysian government has also been very helpful Pape admits. 
       “We are borrowing the land needed for free for the first 60 years and we also get five to seven years of exemption from taxation because what we are doing is considered a pioneering project – it hasn’t been done before. Finally we don’t have to pay import taxes. So I think I can say that we have been treated pretty well,” he says. 
       Thursday the order was announced at a press conference in Malaysia. Strangely enough the first questions had nothing to do with the project at all. 
       “Everything was set and then they asked about the drawings in Jyllands-Posten. They wanted to know how we felt about the matter as a company.” 
       “I told them that we at DSI respect the freedom of speech and everyone went totally quiet until I added: But Jyllands-Posten was not realy aware of the consequences when they printed the articles.”

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