Power from the Sky and Earth
A leading player in the Malaysian clean energy space, Samaiden Group Berhad is the partner of choice in clean energy solutions. Managing Director Ir. Chow Pui Hee tells us more about solar, biomass, alternative clean energy and company growth across SEA
Writer: Marcus Kääpä | Project Manager: Jordan Levey
Renewables are the energy of our vitally sustainable future.
Across Southeast Asia (SEA), solar and wind energy are rapidly growing, while energy both from biomass – including that from waste products – and hydropower remain a well-established part of SEA’s clean energy space. One key player at the centre of this industrial activity is Samaiden Group Berhad (Samaiden).
Originally established in 2013, Samaiden is principally involved in providing engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) solutions for clean energy-related businesses such as solar, biomass, biogas, energy efficiency and environmental assessment. Since 2020, the company has been listed on the Bursa Malaysia stock exchange.
Working with projects across such a broad range of environmental areas, Samaiden boasts around 85 employees from multiple disciplines including accounting and finance, business and marketing, engineering and many more fields of expertise.
“Samaiden’s mission is to provide the best clean energy solutions by fully committing to deliver the best quality of services to the satisfaction of our customers at an affordable price,” introduces Managing Director Ir. Chow Pui Hee. “Samaiden is an EPCC solutions provider for clean energy projects that include solar photovoltaic (PV), biomass, biogas, energy efficiency etc. We have the in-house technical expertise to provide clean energy and environmental consulting services as well as operation and maintenance (O&M) services.
“At present, our company has completed the installation of more than 300 solar power projects that have successfully led to the reduction of more than 57,000kg of CO2 emissions.”
As part of its industry solutions, Samaiden specialises in environmental consultancy and assessment, and analysing how plans, policies, programmes and projects could affect the environment while providing its quality and personalised services.
“We provide solar O&M services tailored to your needs, maintaining system uptime and improved energy production. With our expertise and inter-capabilities, we provide end-to-end services such as overseeing and managing whole plan O&M,” Ir. Chow tells us.
19 YEARS OF EXPERTISE
Ir. Chow has always worked within the environmental space, beginning her career journey as an engineer mainly involved in specifying pumping systems for water and wastewater treatment plants.
Subsequently, Ir. Chow gained the opportunity to become involved in the design and building of wastewater treatment plants as a manager of an environmental division, a role that led her to the position she holds today.
“Throughout my career path, I have been exposed to the responsibility of managing landfill closure, providing technical advisory services of contaminated land management, solid waste and wastewater management, as well as providing environmental consulting services,” she reveals. “Eventually, I was responsible for the implementation of several solar PV system projects during my tenure with one of my former employers.
“All these roles have given me insight into the energy and utilities EPCC space. With approximately 19 years of experience in the engineering field, clean energy and the environmental sector, I believe clean energy is one of the keys to guaranteeing a sustainable future for the planet.”
According to Ir. Chow, Malaysia is fully committed to being a key part of the global transition to becoming low-carbon, eventually evolving into a carbon-neutral nation. Based on the renewable energy (RE) roadmap, the government is targeting 31 percent RE share in the national installed capacity mix by 2025, rising to 40 percent by 2035, and moving on to achieve full carbon neutrality by 2050.
“With these goals set, the Malaysian government has implemented various supportive policies and incentives for the growth of RE, which is further expected to drive the market,” she elaborates. “We are witnessing substantial growth in RE installations due to government support, rising awareness, as well as national targets. As part of the industry, we are dedicated to continuously educating the public on the importance of clean energy towards accomplishing the national goal.”
“I believe clean energy is one of the keys to guaranteeing a sustainable future for the planet”
LEADING THE SOLAR SPACE
Samaiden has secured numerous solar farm projects under the large-scale solar (LSS) programme launched by the Malaysian government in 2019, as one of the winners of bids in the fourth round of the LSS procurement programme (LSS4). The largest of those completed by Samaiden so far is one with a capacity of 136MWp located in the Malaysian state of Perak.
“While under the government’s LSS4 initiative, we have successfully secured four projects from different project owners with the aggregate capacity of 90MWp,” Ir. Chow says. “Apparently, there are several obstacles that we experienced prior to commencing the project construction work.
“First and foremost, it is about the funding support from financial institutions. If the profile of the owner is relatively weak then it is very likely that the financial institutions will refuse to extend the lending to that party. As such, our company might need to step in to act as their guarantor, because our track record will be the best input to convince the financial institutions to approve the borrowing from the owner.”
After resolving the issue with funding support, the following challenges will be project execution, which comprises the timeline, manpower planning, material purchase and project management. Any failure among these could potentially turn the profit to a loss. As such, vigilance when it comes to the project execution stage is a top priority for Samaiden.
“We have also been appointed by our client BTM Resources as the EPCC contractor for their 10MW biomass project, one of the largest biomass projects in the country, relying on wood chips or waste as the feeding stocks for the boiler system,” Ir. Chow continues. “This will be our pioneer project in the biomass industry which can allow our team to grow and strengthen our company’s profile and build up our presence in this area. Moreover, the completion of this project also will bring revenue amounting to RM115.6 million to Samaiden.”
“Ever since the year of our foundation, we have stuck to our pledges of driving decarbonisation and achieving a zero-carbon footprint”
GROWTH IN SEA
Moving towards an increasingly sustainable future, Samaiden is focused on expanding its green development solutions and services to see the company grow and impact people’s lives, as well as the planet’s health, in a positive way. Regional expansion in SEA is one of the key objectives that Samaiden holds, and is part of its five-year plan.
“We have recently moved to Indonesia, and have plans for Cambodia at a later stage. These moves are primarily due to the abundant natural resources that can be detected in these two countries,” Ir. Chow explains to us. “When it comes to Indonesia specifically, sunlight is consistent yet the country’s solar industry development still remains relatively slow. In addition to that, Indonesia can also allow a biomass power plant to be built for its power supply.
“For Cambodia, one of the lucrative points for us to invest abroad is the tariff rate offered by the government. Overall, we’re pretty optimistic about our moves within SEA primarily due to geographical factors, policy, and incentives granted to us.”
As the world continues to experience severe climate change issues, Samaiden will play its role in driving green energy development. The company is not limiting itself to expanding business within SEA alone, but is also considering other regions and countries as well, while focusing on the most critical aim that is leading in its current market.
“From our start-up as a solar EPCC contractor, we have begun to diversify our business to biomass, biogas, and energy efficiency areas,” Ir. Chow concludes. “Our future aim is to be one of the leaders in the clean energy industry, and this revenue stream shall be supplemented by the construction of power plants and investment of power plant ownership consistently.
“Lastly, we’re a company that is strongly committed to environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. Ever since the year of our foundation, we have stuck to our pledges of driving decarbonisation and achieving a zero-carbon footprint.”