Sunway teams up with Engie to build district cooling systems in Malaysia

11, Jun. 2020

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By Charlotte Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, NNA - Sunway Construction Sdn Bhd (SCSB) and Engie South East Asia Pte. Ltd. have signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a joint venture to expand the use of district cooling technology in Malaysia.

The company will build cooling systems for greenfield and brownfield urban development projects as well as some in Sunway’s portfolio of office buildings, retail malls, educational institutions, medical centers, hotels, resorts, theme parks and factories, said the two companies in their statements.

The company will leverage Sunway’s capabilities and experience as a conglomerate with diversified businesses and the core business and technical competencies of global energy player Engie in integrated green and sustainable environmental solutions.

Liew Kok Wing, managing director of SCSB, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sunway Construction Group Berhad (SunCon), said its partnership with Engie marked a significant milestone in its venture in the renewable energy sector.

"This new venture will not only provide strong long-term recurring revenue to SunCon, but also complements our core competencies in delivering value added and sustainable solutions to our clients,” said Liew.

SunCon is part of Sunway Group, one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates with core interests in real estate, construction, education, healthcare, retail and hospitality.

Pierre Cheyron, CEO of ENGIE South East Asia, said, “We are delighted by this opportunity to collaborate with one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates to aid the country’s low carbon transition. With the combined unparalleled deep expertise and global experience from both Engie and Sunway, we are confident that this partnership will bring about a significant impact on Malaysia’s sustainability objectives and her people in the country.”

This is not the first time that SCSB is building such cooling systems. It had previously undertaken projects to build four district cooling plants in Putrajaya, the administrative center of the country which has set a 20 percent target for renewable energy in its generation mix by 2025.

But it would be SCSB's first with a more comprehensive involvement which includes financing, operations and maintenance of the sophisticated cooling system, said SCBC.

“We will be able to leverage Engie’s technical competencies in delivering integrated green and sustainable environmental solutions to our clients,” SCBC told NNA in an email on Thursday.

When asked about capital outlay for joint venture projects, SCSB said, “We are at a preliminary discussion stage and are open for possible opportunities. As a start, we are looking at implementing the district cooling system within Sunway’s developments.”

Globally, district cooling systems are becoming the preferred cooling solutions for cities and buildings, as compared to stand-alone chiller plants.

District cooling produces chilled water centrally for distribution to nearby facilities through a network of insulated pipes to achieve more efficient air conditioning of buildings.

The technology also allows significant savings in capital expenditure, energy and operating costs.

In a statement, SCSB said it expects the demand for district cooling technology to rise as Malaysia will be relying on more renewable energy sources to reduce carbon footprint.

“The shift to renewable energy will provide more affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity to the people. With the growing demand for renewable energy, we believe there will be a lot of opportunities in this sector,” it said.

Engie, is a French multinational electric utility company that operates in nearly 70 countries. It runs 393 district heating and cooling networks globally including four district cooling plants in Southeast Asia including Megajana District Cooling System at Cyberjaya, Malaysia, Northgate District Cooling Plant in The Philippines and the District Cooling Systems for Punggol Digital District in Singapore.