China-based photovoltaics company Longi has said it will build three photovoltaic (PV) factories in Serendah, a town located 25km north of the country’s capital Kuala Lumpur.

According to Malaysian media outlet Bernama, Longi has invested MYR1.8bn ($250m) in the three factories, which are expected to be completed by March 2024.

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The company, based in Shanghai, is China’s largest listed PV manufacturer, focusing on monocrystalline silicon wafers.

Malaysia’s Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz commented: “With Longi’s projected output of 8.8GW upon completion, our nation’s standing in the realm of clean and sustainable energy is poised for monumental growth.”

News about the solar panel factories in Malaysia came after, in March 2023, the Chinese company announced partnering with Invenergy, a US power developer, to build a solar panel assembly factory in the US state of Ohio.

Last year, Malaysia attracted over $36.9bn in FDI, with 78.3% of total investment going into manufacturing. The country’s economy grew by 8.7% in 2022, mostly due to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions coupled with rising commodity prices and growth in manufacturing exports.

Among the top investors, the government in Kuala Lumpur attracted over $10bn from China-based Risen Energy, which introduced plans to build a photovoltaic cell plant in Kulim Hi-Tech Park in Kedah, in the northwest of the country.

Speaking about Longi’s decision to build three PV factories in Malaysia, Tengku Zafrul added: “Longi reiterates its confidence in the boundless potential our nation offers.”