Energy & Utilities

Latest Energy and Utilities sector features, company profiles, and executive interviews from across the APAC region.

Latest Energy & Utilities Corporate Stories

Essential Energy : Australia’s Energy Transformation

Delivering essential electricity network services to nearly 900,000 homes, David Salisbury, Executive Manager of Engineering at Essential Energy, discusses the evolution of the utilities sector in Australia today.

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Blueleaf Energy

Harness the Sun, Transform the Future Sol Proops, CEO at Blueleaf Energy, discusses the potential for exponential growth in Asia’s renewable sector and discusses his organisation’s sustainable approach   Writer: Sean Galea-Pace  |  Project Manager: Nicholas Kernan  “Renewable energy is one of the global megatrends and Asia is a huge growth area for population, modernisation and electrification,” starts Sol Proops, CEO at Blueleaf Energy.Today, Asia is a region with opportunity. It’s a place which offers potential for establishing energy networks across Asia and actively avoiding the growth of new fossil fuel generation.Proops has witnessed first-hand the dramatic change in approach over the past few years. “We’re seeing that in developed countries the governments are turning towards making Net Zero targets law and this trend will further fuel the expansion of the sector,” he tells us. Blueleaf has a mission to develop, deliver and operate safe, high quality, ethical onshore renewable energy projects, delivering a greener energy mix and lower power bills. Blueleaf is a portfolio firm that is owned by Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) and operates on a standalone basis. It specialises in the development, finance, construction, and operation of both commercial and industrial (C&I) and utility scale solar systems across the Asia Pacific region.    Recently, Blueleaf completed work on its first corporate PPA rooftop solar power plant in Penang, Malaysia, providing renewable energy to the automotive electronics plant for Bosch.  “This marks our first corporate power purchase agreement as we commence supply of power from a rooftop solar system,” says Proops.  “We are excited to contribute to Malaysia’s green energy transition

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Plus Solar Systems

Driving Sustainability in MalaysiaKo Chuan Zhen, co-founder and CEO of Plus Solar Systems, discusses his organisation’s journey and details how it became a major force in clean energy solutions   Writer: Sean Galea-Pace |  Project Manager: Nicholas Kernan  “In Malaysia, clean energy has increased in terms of adoption and awareness among the public, especially business owners.” Ko Chuan Zhen is a CEO and co-founder at Plus Solar Systems. Today, Plus Solar believes in the Energy Trilogy - Energy Generation, Energy Efficiency, and Energy Storage which showcases its passion towards providing clean energy solutions for a better future. Having initially been founded as Leaf Energy in 2011, the organisation became the first solar energy consulting firm in Malaysia. The three co-founders Ko Chuan Zhen, Poh Tyng Huei, and Ryan Oh Zhi Kang had a vision.  The trio wanted to drive the world towards a cleaner and more sustainable future. In 2012, Leaf Energy became Plus Solar and was created with the mission statement of reshaping the way energy is generated and consumed one community at a time through providing turnkey solutions.  However, Plus Solar’s journey hasn’t been straightforward.  “When we started, we installed solar on the roofs ourselves, under the rain and shine, whilst our friends were in corporate roles,” says Ko, co-founder and CEO.  “The working environment wasn’t very friendly, and I wondered if I should be sitting comfortably behind the desk as my friends in the corporate world were. I realised that some people enjoy being on-site and sitting at a desk, and at that point, that was who I was.” Indeed, like

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Integrated Facility Solutions (IFS)

Facilitating ThailandBangkok based facility solutions firm ‘IFS’ on expansion and adapting to customer demand during the pandemic   Writer: Phoebe Harper  |  Project Manager: Donovan Smith  With 30,000 employees and a healthy appetite for expansion, Integrated Facility Solutions’ (IFS) journey to becoming a global leader in facilities management (FM), seems guaranteed.  In its previous incarnation as ISS, a member of the Danish ISS group founded in 1901, IFS established a successful history of over 25 years as a leading provider of single services, including cleaning and security operations.  Since integrating its model and entering the FM market in 2012, adopting its new moniker just last year, Thailand-based IFS has worked with an impressive roster of clients. These include the country’s principal airport, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International, and Thailand’s largest duty-free mall.  Following a career in property management, Worapong Padungkirtsakul now serves as the CEO of IFS.  “Effective facility management can help businesses enhance their productivity and achieve their goals by streamlining operating costs and, just as importantly, allowing businesses to effectively allocate resources where they are most needed,” Padungkirtsakul says.  The company now offers a full gamut of facility services, spanning from security and cleaning, to technical and support services, all of which are provided through the IFS’s self-delivery model. By operating with a multi-faceted approach, where all services are integrated, IFS strengthens its ability to manage the services that they offer, eliminating the uncertainty and potential compromise in quality that can come from relying on third-party subcontractors. This approach also enables IFS to be highly cost-effective.  Since 1985, IFS has undergone various stages of

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Trident Water Systems

The Water GuardianSafeguarding the world’s most precious resource has never been more important, and Trident Water Systems is determined to impart sound, sustainable practice into industrial wastewater activities across Asia    Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: David Knott  “It is critical that proper wastewater treatment is implemented in every country and every industry to prevent pollution of our precious waterways, rivers and water bodies. Clean water is a finite resource, but with innovative technology and proper management and enforcement, it is a resource that can be rejuvenated and kept in abundance.” Theron Madhavan and his company are on a mission to safeguard the world’s most precious resource – water.  As Founder and CEO of Singapore-based Trident Water Systems (TWS), the entrepreneur is emboldened and determined to play his part in ensuring that industrial wastewater is managed responsibly for the betterment of the planet.  It is a big responsibility, Madhavan all too aware of the size of the task at hand. “The industrial wastewater sector is highly fragmented and enforcement and corporate compliance is still something that needs improvements,” he explains.  “However, it is heartening to see many initiatives and the adoption of UN’s Global Compact Network and the Sustainable Development Goals by many industry players – it’s a good start and I believe that much more is to come.” So, how is TWS positioned to help?  Established by Madhavan in 2017, the company today stands as a reputed specialist in industrial wastewater treatment, with more than 150 of its systems installed across a range of industries, including oil and gas, textiles, electro-plating, food and

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Total Solar Distributed Generation

Leading the Solar Charge Total Solar Distributed Generation has doubled capital investment and ramped up revenues 30 times over the past 18 months, its economical and ecological off-grid power alternative proving a hit in many Asian commercial markets   Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: David Knott  It is safe to say that 2020 has been far from a straightforward year.  From raging forest fires in Australia to the COVID-19 outbreak which has swept its way across the world, you could be forgiven for craving a return to some form of ‘normal’, a word which is being redefined on what feels like a monthly or even weekly basis.  For businesses in all industries, the safe haven of certainty has been wiped away in recent times. National and regional lockdowns, shifts in mindsets towards remote working and sudden changes in consumer behaviour have forced organisations to adapt in order to survive, the impact of the pandemic already having devastating impacts on revenues.  When Gavin Adda last spoke to APAC Outlook (then Asia Outlook) in March 2019, Total Solar Distributed Generation (DG) was poised to enter a phase of momentous expansion in Southeast Asia. “We were braced for the worst regarding coronavirus but, thankfully, we’ve continued on our growth journey in a way that has exceeded my expectations,” he says.  “What we’ve found is that customers are choosing to accelerate their adoption of renewables. They may not be able to do anything in terms of the coronavirus situation, so perhaps they are asking themselves what CAN they do – installing our off-grid solar will provide crucial

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Schneider Electric: Futureproofing Businesses post-COVID-19

Energy management and digitisation are two solutions which could help businesses across Asia recover from the impact of the pandemic Written by: Dani ReddThe current recorded global death toll for coronavirus stands at more than 900,000. But it is not just the human cost that is a cause for concern – the pandemic is also costing millions of people their livelihoods. Major economies across the Asia Pacific region – such as Japan, India and Australia – have witnessed negative GDP growth in Q2 of 2020. For example, Japan’s economy shrank an annualised real 28.1 percent from the previous quarter, according to a recently released government report. However, as lockdowns across the world begin to lift, businesses are looking towards the future and hoping for recovery. “It’s hard to believe that it took just about six months for the COVID-19 pandemic to cause significant loss of life, devastating industries and cause the crash of a relatively stable and prosperous global economy. Critical vulnerabilities have been deeply exposed and, as the world starts to return to a level of normalcy, companies find themselves at an inflection point. How can they use the lessons learned from this to determine the path going forward?”The question is posed by Tommy Leong, President of East Asia & Japan at Schneider Electric, a company that provides energy, automation and digital solutions to improve efficiency and sustainability. With 28 years of experience in ASEAN and Pacific business, Leong is perfectly placed to answer the question every business is currently asking: how can we adapt to the ‘new

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Halcom Vietnam

The Renewable RenaissanceHALCOM Vietnam continues to drive sustainable development across the country, the company spearheading a number of pioneering renewable energy projects    Writer: Tom Wadlow | Project Manager: Donovan Smith | Photography: Tuan Anh NguyenWhen Vietnam moved to middle-income status in 2018/19, it capped what can only be described as a remarkable economic turnaround. One of the world’s poorest countries in the 1980s, a huge series of reforms launched under Đổi Mới spurred rapid socioeconomic growth. Per capita GDP surpassed $2,700 in 2019, a growth of 270 percent since 2002, a period which has also seen more than 45 million people lifted out of poverty. Early data suggests the Vietnamese economy expanded by seven percent last year although, like many nations, it has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the fundamentals remain extremely positive, a feeling reflected by Saurabh Mathur, CEO of HALCOM Vietnam, a specialist investment and consultancy firm focused on urban and infrastructure development. “It is very exciting to be working in this space because of Vietnam’s fast-growing economy,” he says. “To extend the discussion into our industry, which is largely centred on renewable energy, the opportunity is significant. “Currently, around nine percent of the country’s energy mix is comprised of renewables, surpassing the target set for this year which was seven percent. Developing clean energy is quintessential if Vietnam wants to proceed with its annual growth in a green and sustainable manner.”Indeed, electricity consumption has tripled over the past decade, growing faster than output, and the Vietnamese government has recently encouraged private sector to invest into

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Sunseap Group

Singapore’s Leading LightEmpowering Southeast Asia with a portfolio of 1.7 GW of solar projects, Sunseap Group continues to spearhead change with its innovative, agile solutions Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan Gray There are few regions globally that can lay claim to more exciting economic prospects than Southeast Asia. While China, Japan and many of the continent’s other traditional powerhouses continue to make headway, the whirlwind taking many of its tiger cub economies by storm is equally helping to shape Asia’s next growth frontier. Take the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), for example. An intergovernmental organisation comprising 10 countries, combined they stand as the fifth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.76 trillion and population of 630 million (according to 2017’s figures). Yet this is just the advent of prosperity for the region. Owed to vast swathes of industrial, entrepreneurial, financial and technological opportunities, the territory’s annual economic growth rates are forecast to exceed five percent for the next half decade. Against this backdrop, numerous enterprises are unsurprisingly thriving. “The renewables industry, particularly solar energy, is epitomising the high growth in Southeast Asia,” affirms Keith Lim, Chief Financial Officer of Sunseap Group – a Singaporean-based company that is making the most of the monumental opportunities available. “Many developing countries here require increasing amounts of energy to fuel their rapid economic expansion, and solar energy presents itself as an attractive alternative to conventional energy, especially with the declining cost of generation.” Identifying these inevitable demands, Sunseap can be best described as a forward-thinking first mover in the solar market, as well

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Solar Splendour 10 years ago, Maoneng was a humble startup operating in a western suburb of Sydney. Today, it is one of Asia Pacific’s leading solar entities, helping to spearhead the global energy revolution Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Ryan GrayNothing is more important to life on earth than the sun. Warming our oceans, generating our weather patterns and facilitating the photosynthesis of plants which provide food and oxygen for all, without it the world would become an arid ball of ice and rock. Yet, owed to the innovation-abundant 21st century, humanity’s reliance on the central star of our solar system is becoming increasingly pronounced, owed to its ability to act as a sustainable fountain of power. Fast forward from the BC era, when the use of a magnifying glass in concentrating the sun’s ray to create fire was discovered, to today, and technological advancements and learnings have seen solar energy rise to power everything from buildings to streetlamps to trains.  An exciting, fast-moving industry that’s full of sustainable promise, it’s become a field filled with champions of the new energy revolution. “Contrary to popular belief, modern solar photovoltaic technologies are not new,” explains Morris Zhou, Group Executive Chairman of Maoneng, one of Australia’s leading lights for the solar industry. “They have been around for roughly 50 years – one of the first satellites ever shot into space, for example, required silicon-based solar panels in order to charge the equipment. “Only in recent years, over the past decade and a half or so, has the cost of this technology fallen to the

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