Our current portfolio includes energy management services, mini hydro generation, renewable energy generation – solar photovoltaic system and water, solar farm maintenance services and solar photovoltaic systems design as well as construction.
Renewable energy is the upshot of power generated from photovoltaic cells at our large-scale solar farms in Air Keroh, Melaka and Bidor, Perak Malaysia. Our solar farm at Jeram Mengkuang, along the Bidor-Teluk Intan Road in Perak, has transformed otherwise tin-mining wasteland into thriving ventures for the immediate community in the form of business opportunities, jobs for the youths and other auxiliary services.
Our latest venture in mini-hydro generation perpetuates our commitment to harmonise with nature. Large hydro-electricity generation projects destroy extensive areas of indigenous flora and fauna, disrupt river ecosystems and uproot native population. Whereas, mini-hydro plants utilise the natural flow of existing rivers to power the electricity-generating turbines. There is no upheaval to negatively impact the biodiversity when we ensure the eco-system of the environment is left intact.
ELECTRICAL WORKS AND MAINTENANCE SERVICES
This was where it all began…Supported by relevant certification from industry authorities, Gading Kencana is equipped to handle all types of electrical works from low voltage individual units to high voltage sub-stations. Quality in installation and reliability in maintenance is a given.
These electrical works include:
- Electrical cabling and equipment installation works.
- Maintenance works.
ENERGY AUDIT SERVICES
Energy inputs (both electrical and fuel) are essential parts of any manufacturing process. The expenditure on these inputs often accounts for a significant share of the manufacturing costs. As such, any saving on electrical and fuel costs adds directly to the profits of the company and these have a lesser impact on profits compared to other measures such as reducing labour costs, increasing sales or lowering distribution costs.
The main purpose of an energy audit is to systematically identify, using calibrated measuring instruments, the level of energy consumption and to investigate practical and feasible opportunities for saving all forms of energy costs. Experience shows that as much as 10-15% of energy costs could be saved without the need for large investment on energy-reducing measures.
The services we offer include:
- Preliminary energy audit
- Walk-through audit
- Detailed energy audit
- Power quality audit
- Boiler performance evaluation
What the audit team does:
- Identify energy balance to determine the energy flow
- Identify energy balance to determine the energy wastage
- Recommend ways to minimise the energy wastage
- Carry out feasibility studies and prioritise energy improvement
- Measure and record power quality status
The benefits to you are:
ENERGY MANAGEMENT CONSULTING
Energy Management consulting includes Energy Efficiency (EE) measurement that offers effective ways to lower carbon emission by reducing power consumption. Wind power, solar photovoltaic and solar base load are renewable. Power consumption can be reduced via zero-cost, low-cost or high-cost measures resulting in 20%, 30% and 50% increases in energy efficiency.
Your reason to conduct energy management study may include:
- Making the case for energy efficiency
- Establishing energy efficiency portfolio funding levels and goals
- Assessing reliable alternatives to traditional supply-side resources
- Programme design, support and analysis
SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS
As Malaysia is endowed with abundant sunshine almost all year round, generating energy from the sun makes perfect sense. The energy is harvested in photovoltaic (PV) cells and solar energy is converted to clean energy with zero carbon emission. The PV systems can be applied in isolated locations away from the national grid (off-grid) or connected to the national grid (on-grid).
Gading Kencana is well-equipped with relevant expertise and experience to handle off- and on-grid, from small-scale KWh to large-scale MWh systems. The three main types of Solar PV systems offered by Gading Kencana are: Stand-alone, hybrid and building integrated.
In 2001, the company invested in the distribution of solar powered garden lights manufactured in Malaysia. This was our first venture in the solar PV industry. The technology was simple, solar stand-alone technology consisting of a 2-watt solar cell, a lithium-ion rechargeable battery and LED. As the solar garden lights were of high quality, there was demand from the international market and from domestic consumers who were educated abroad. When solar garden lights manufactured in China penetrated the Malaysian market and sold at a fraction of the locally manufactured lights, we decided to exit the market as it would be futile to compete. The solar garden lights imported from China were of low quality and were not durable. As a result, the consumers lost trust in the product and this decimated the solar-powered garden light market in Malaysia.
Resolute on its path to energy conservation, the company acquired technology to design and construct solar-powered street lighting. Coincidentally, the Public Works Department was looking for alternatives to the conventional street lighting that require high cost of investments for cabling works from the nearest grid supply to the ‘high accidents location’ at roads and junctions. The company supplied and constructed solar-powered street lighting to many new rural roads such as the Batang Kali to Universiti Selangor (UNISEL) at Bestari Jaya in Selangor, Baling, Kedah to Gerik, Perak highway, Pulau Pasir Hitam, Perak – a fishing island and many others. Battery theft is averted by placing it in a locked box, 10 feet above the ground instead of placing it at the base of the pole as in some imported models. The solar street lighting system was designed with three days autonomy that takes into consideration any intermittent cloudy and rainy weather.
The Public Works Department acknowledged Gading Kencana’s expertise in solar-powered lighting by assigning the company to design and construct solar PV systems to power the lights and fans for Rest & Recreational (R&R) areas along the Simpang Pulai-Gua Musang road, the Raub-Bukit Fraser road and the road leading to an Orang Asli new village in Cameron Highlands.
Teachers assigned to rural schools are often reluctant to be posted to remote settlements in Sabah and Sarawak as electricity supply is limited to several hours in a day. In 2009, the Ministry of Education called for proposals from suppliers to provide solar-powered systems that can deliver 24-hours electricity. The company successfully bade for the project. This marked the beginning of Gading Kencana’s involvement in large scale solar PV off-grid projects.
Battery storage is necessitated when generating power where the utility grid is not available to receive excess generation from solar PV systems or to supplement inadequate generation, or non-existent generation during the night. The cost to meet the load demand for 24-hour users can be exorbitant as more solar PV panels and a large battery bank are required. To mitigate costs, a solar hybrid with diesel generator systems were designed. However, a balance between the operation hours of the diesel generators to generate electricity and the solar panels have to be taken into consideration. This is due to expensive diesel costs when transported to remote areas in the interior.
Additionally, solar hybrid systems utilising diesel generators require team members who are familiar with maintenance of diesel generator sets and automation systems to self-start the diesel generator when battery storage levels run low.
The challenging terrain and hazardous routes to the rural schools posed a major factor for costing purposes. Some sites require both land and river transport. There are locations that can only be accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles. Project delays due to rough weather have to be factored in. The work in the jungle is challenging and dangerous.
Therefore, it was really a situation of ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’. It is to be noted that as owners and top management, our senior executives had to Walk the Talk and demonstrate exemplary leadership qualities by participation. We had to experience what the employees were going through to understand their situation and gain their respect.
Thus, amongst industry players Gading Kencana is distinguished as an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) solar company that had successfully executed large scale remote location solar hybrid systems. We are acknowledged as a company to be reckoned with.
When the Malaysian government enacted the Renewable Energy Act 2011 – where the Feed-in Tariff was enforced, competition among EPC solar contractors was intense. From a handful of companies, the industry players multiplied into a few hundreds. As such, Gading Kencana’s management took a bold step of venturing beyond EPC, to that of a solar farm developer. In 2012, the company embarked on a new phase of the solar PV industry – the development of a large scale solar farm.
Solar farm development is a convergence of knowledge and skills of civil project development, development financing, grid transmission and connection as well as solar PV engineering. Unlike our previous solar projects, the process to obtain the Development Order from the Local Authorities as well as obtain financing from financial institutions could take up almost 12 months. A bigger team of specialists mainly the Planner, Architect, Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, the Quantity Surveyor and Land Surveyor have to collaborate to draw designs and layout. The bank would only begin to process our loan application after the award of a Development Order. This is where effective stakeholder management and networking skills play a crucial role to ensure smooth running of a project.
The company’s first solar farm at Air Keroh, Melaka was a training ground for our team. With a small capacity of 8 MW quota and minimal risks the team charged on learning as we progressed and asking questions from whomever was willing to teach. Credit must be given to the company’s young team who were resolved not to assign the project to foreign-based consultants and contractors.
The successful completion of our 8MW solar farm in Melaka emboldened the company to bid for a bigger quota in 2016. The company won a quota for 37.5MW in Bidor, Perak, outbidding several public-listed companies. We had learnt valuable lessons from our Melaka experience and this gave Gading Kencana the edge.
Given our success in Melaka, the team wanted to build a reputation so as to bid for international projects that were under negotiations. The Bidor solar farm, unlike the one in Melaka, was developed on tin-mining wasteland and generated much interest from the local communities. A local news network recorded a special documentary film titled ‘Bidor: Dari Jambu batu ke Ladang Solar’ (Bidor: from Guava to Solar farm). Many locals from and around Bidor were employed in the construction. Local caterers provided food and drinks to the construction team. The local population was hired for cleaning, landscape design and maintenance as well as security services. Many ‘Bidor parents’ were proud that their children were employed by the solar farm.
Solar farm maintenance, as is with international practice, is monitored remotely from a control centre. The personnel on-site carry out physical maintenance such as cleaning of building, landscape maintenance and checks on the system as instructed from the control centre. With thousands of solar panels, electrical and electronic cables kilometres in length, transformers and countless other instrumentation, monitoring devices are necessary to identify problematic spots within a few seconds. IT personnel with electrical engineering and electronic communications as well as monitoring background are essential for this job. Real time controller software for data collection and transmission to Data or Control centre such as NI LabVIEW real-time and SCADA are among the knowledge and skills required.
What next for the company? After the 21 years contract/life of the solar farms, the company will have a large land bank in hand. A strategic corporate move would be to venture into commercial property development or a solar components recycling centre.
Amir Sharif joined the company in June 2010 and was assigned to the solar photovoltaic (PV) system construction project for the Remote Schools’ Electrification programme in Sabah. He also managed a 30kWp solar PV rooftop construction project for a hypermarket in Kulim, followed by another 600kWp project for a manufacturing facility in Penang and a 2MWp BIPV project for an automotive parts manufacturing in Batang Kali, Selangor.
When GK won the bid to build, own and operate (BOO) an 8MWp solar farm – the company’s first solar farm under the FiT programme, in Ayer Keroh Melaka, Amir who was 26 then, took up the challenge of heading the project team. Fortified by a deep sense of commitment, Amir completed the project before the deadline in 2014. In 2017, he headed the project team to construct the company’s second solar farm – with 37MWp capacity, in Bidor Perak which is the first Large Scale Solar (LSS1) being connected to 132kV national grid transmission line. Amir had attended training programmes in Germany, China, India, Korea and Thailand.
MOHD AMIR SHARIFUDDIN BIN MOHD RIDZUAN
Project and Operations Director
Nurul Fadhilah, or Padi as she is fondly known, joined the company in February 2009. She holds Certificates of Competency for the Design and Installation of Off-Grid and Grid Connected Solar Photovoltaic System. With her long-time experience, she leads her young teams to design and oversee the quality of all the solar PV system projects undertaken by the company. These include household rooftop solar PV systems and large-scale solar farms.
She has travelled extensively to ASEAN countries, China, Europe, India and Korea; attending training programmes and updating her knowledge as well as skills on solar technology.
NURUL FADHILAH BINTI MOHD RIDZA
Engineering and Design Manager