Petronas launches state-of-the-art gas terminal

Posted on : 20-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUCHING: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) on Tuesday launched its state-of-the art Terengganu Gas Terminal (TGAST) in Kertih, the first of such facility to utilize Petronas-owned carbon dioxide removal technology expected to give a boost to the development of Malaysia’s offshore gas fields with high carbon dioxide content.

The facility was launched by Petronas president and group chief executive officer Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, as part of his visit itinerary to Petronas’ operations in the East Coast region from April 17 to 18.

According to a statement yesterday, Wan Zulkiflee said the TGAST project was not only a testimony of the group’s continuous commitment towards adding value to the oil and gas resources found offshore Peninsular Malaysia but also reflected the company’s larger cleaner energy commitment in support of Malaysia’s environmental agenda to reduce its carbon footprint by 2030.

He added that TGAST, with the capacity to process up to 700 mmscfd of gas from the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Development Area (MTJDA) and from the North Malay Basin offshore Terengganu, would help ensure the security and sustainability of supply to Petronas’ customers in Peninsular Malaysia as well as to Petronas’ own facilities in the region, particularly its integrated petrochemical complexes in the East Coast.

Wan Zulkiflee said the launch of TGAST was also a proud moment and achievement for Petronas, as it not only utilized the PN-1 Membrane System for carbon dioxide removal developed by Petronas and a partner, but also because the project involved more than 80 per cent participation of local contractors.

The project was successfully completed four months ahead of schedule. At the launch, TGAST also celebrated 10 million safe man hours without lost-time incident (LTI), and 1,300 incident-free days from the project start date in 2013.

Apart from the gas terminal, the project also includes compressor units, storage tanks and related infrastructure and the installation of temperature control machinery and safety systems.


Swedish firms invest RM2.43 billion in Malaysia

Posted on : 20-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

NILAI: Swedish investors have recorded  90 manufacturing projects worth US$729.19 million (RM2.43 billion) in Malaysia as of December 2016 and generated 5,800 jobs at various levels.

Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said Malaysia is pleased that Swedish companies continue to view the country as an attractive investment destination.

“Last year the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) approved four additional manufacturing projects with Swedish interest, valued at US$438.9 million or RM161.1 million.

“Other than SKF, renowned Swedish companies that have established their global foothold in Malaysia include Volvo, SCA Hygiene, Bromma and Scania,” he added.

He said this in his officiating remarks at the factory expansion and launching of new products namely, Tailored range of spherical roller bearings (SRB) and spherical roller thrust bearings by SKF Malaysia yesterday.

Also present was SKF Group president and chief executive officer Alrik Danielson, SKF Malaysia Managing Director Anders Fogelberg and Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia, Dag Juhlin-Danfelt.

Ka Chuan said Malaysia’s machinery and equipment (M&E) industry is now among the largest and strongest in Asean, in line with the national transformation from being a commodity-based country to manufacturing.

“This industry boasts a strong export performance that contributed more than five per cent to the total export of manufactured goods last year.

“With a healthy Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.3 per cent, the M&E export is projected to reach US$10.8 billion in 2020,’ he added.

He said Mida approved  88 manufacturing projects last year with investments worth US$4342.1 million or RM1.5 billion from both foreign and local sources.

“We are proud that Malaysia is increasingly becoming a choice destination for multinational companies seeking to outsource their manufacturing processes,” he added.

Ka Chuan said Malaysia as an open economy continues to welcome quality foreign investments and via collaboration with foreign companies such as SKF, it can foster greater partnership with global firms and facilitate strategic linkages between them and local entities.


Beyond China, carmakers seek new drivers of Asian growth

Posted on : 20-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : International Business

Shanghai – Southeast Asia’s potential beckons as global automakers look beyond China’s massive market to extend their sales boom in the region, but executives say they face a struggle to match the explosive Chinese growth.

Chinese passenger-car sales have quadrupled over the past 10 years to 24.38 million last year, having become the world’s biggest market in 2009.

But with Chinese economic growth moderating, one question being asked at the Shanghai Auto Show is: where in Asia can carmakers look for the next boom?

“There is a challenge to seek growth where the growth is. You look at countries that are less equipped and are in the process of growth or acceleration,” said Marc Boilard, industry analyst at the firm Oliver Wyman.

Southeast Asia’s potential remains significant, with more than 600 million people, solid economic growth and just 2.1 million passenger vehicles sold last year in the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

But carmakers say issues such as import taxes, regional dominance by Japanese manufacturers and lagging infrastructure work against broad-based growth.

ASEAN “is a market that is closed, where import taxes are very high”, making it necessary to invest in local manufacturing, said Carlos Tavares, chairman of France’s PSA, which produces Peugeot and Citroen.

Indonesia has 250 million people, but US automaker Ford pulled out last year in the face of Japanese firms’ more than 90% market share, said David Schoch, CEO of Ford China.

“When I sit back and look at it, and think about electrification, smart mobility, and where the industry is going … where are you going to place your bet?” Schoch said.

Ford has announced plans to double down on China, where electric-vehicle and SUV sales continue to surge.

“Although Indonesia represents a fairly large market and is growing, again, we couldn’t see a way forward that we could be successful there,” Schoch said.

Vietnam holds potential with more than 90 million people and less than 30 vehicles per 1000, compared with China’s 120 and 800 in the United States.

BYD CONCEPT: A Singulato Concept car is displayed during the first day of the 17th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in Shanghai. Image: AFP.

“The only downside, however, is that these markets have been dominated by the Japanese for a very long time,” said Franois Jaumain of PwC Autofacts.

Japanese carmakers account for 71% of sales in Thailand and 59% in Vietnam, according to PwC.

PSA, whose China sales plunged 16% in 2016, plans to target 5% of Vietnam’s passenger-car volume, which reached just 158 000 last year.

It also is pursuing a strategic partnership with Proton, the struggling national carmaker of Malaysia, where half a million cars were sold last year.

Infrastructure development, which helped facilitate China’s private-car boom, has not kept up in Southeast Asia.

Sebastien Amichi of consultancy Roland Berger said: “We’ve been talking a long time about the ‘new dragons’, which have had difficulty taking off.

“When we take these countries together, Southeast Asia could be a good growth area, if the infrastructure and banking networks are set up effectively.”


Perodua aims for sales target of 202,000 units this year

Posted on : 20-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

KUALA LUMPUR— Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) has set a sales target of 202,000 units for 2017, a contraction of two per cent from the 207,1000 units recorded in 2016, amid a continuous challenging economic environment.

President and Chief Executive Officer Datuk Aminar Rashid Salleh said despite a three per cent contraction in sales performance for 2016 as compared to the initial target of 216,000, market share last year grew to 35.7 per cent from 32 per cent, the company’s highest on record.

On the total industry volume (TIV), Perodua sees a slight improvement to the market with two per cent growth to 590,000 units this year, from 579,600 in 2016.

“Based on this projection, we target to capture 34 per cent of the market share or sell surpassing the 200,000 mark at 202,000 vehicles in 2017,” he said at the Perodua 2016 Performance Review here today.

Aminar said Perodua’s conservative sales target for 2017 will translate into a decline.

“Under very tough market conditions and probably because other players also face challenges, the industry’s TIV for last year contracted 13 per cent, but we dropped just three per cent.

“We forecast the market to continue to be tough this year as shown in the number of bookings and as competition also gets tougher,” he added.

He said if for any reason there was an improvement in the economic indicators, Perodua would review upward, the target for the year.

Despite the tough sales environment locally, Aminar said Perodua grew export volume by six per cent last year to 4,700 units from 4,400 in 2015, with 63 per cent being to Indonesia.

On the profitability strategy this year, he said Perodua would focus more on after sales for revenue growth.

On capital expenditure (Capex), Aminar said Perodua’s spending would be higher at RM557 million this year, compared to RM492 million in 2016, aimed at improving equipment, process flow, and improving productivity at current plants as well as improving the network.

On impact of the weakness in the ringgit, Aminar said it had an effect on costings for Perodua.

“We do import parts in the US dollar and yen. However, it is somewhat mitigated by our higher localisation.

“We will continue to monitor the situation. At this point, we are continuing to absorb (the weaker ringgit’s impact) and have no plans to review prices,” he added.

Aminar also shared that 2017 marked the beginning of Perodua’s new Transformation 2.0 programme, a five-year roadmap from 2017 to overcome future challenges and the economic environment.

“Our vision is to be a leading affordable automotive brand regionally with global standards,” he said.


Ka Chuan: M’sia remains on firm economic footing

Posted on : 20-04-2017 | By : sabah today | In : National Business

NILAI: Malaysia remains on a firm economic footing with gross domestic product (GDP) growth projected at 4% to 5% this year, Second Minister of International Trade and Industry Ong Ka Chuan said.

He said the nation’s sustainability growth would be supported by strong domestic consumption, comfortable levels of external reserves, low inflation and accommodative monetary policy.

“Despite the global economic headwinds that have created a challenging environment, we remain steadfast in creating one that is business friendly,” he said.

Ong said this in his address when launching the new products, namely tailored range of spherical roller bearings (SRB) and spherical roller thrust bearings and announcement of factory expansion by SKF Malaysia here today.

He added the government through the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and Malaysian Investment Development Authority would continue to facilitate and nurture a conducive business environment for investors to grow.

Also present at the ceremony were SKF Group President and Chief Executive Officer Alrik Danielson, SKF Malaysia Managing Director Anders Fogelberg and Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia Dag Juhlin-Danfelt.

Meanwhile, in press conference, Ong said Malaysia would be taking part in free trade as much as possible to enable the country to create a market not only for local investors but also international investors.