"Looking on the bright side" has found a new meaning for Japanese company Tokuyama when it ventured into Malaysia. Drawn by the country's renewable energy sources and strategic location, Tokuyama has chosen Sarawak as its extended manufacturing base for polycrystalline silicon, which is used for electronics and solar cell production. Tokuyama brings more than 25 years of polycrystalline silicon expertise from Japan, where it has been a key manufacturer and supplier to industries ranging from chemicals to building materials, electronics and medical equipment since 1918. "Our polycrystalline silicon has a purity level of up to 99.999999999 per cent, which translates to solar cells with more effective power conversion," says Tokuyama Malaysia president Akira Sanuki. "Such dedication to high quality, a long track record and a diverse expertise have made us successful. We aim to replicate this success on a bigger scale, while helping Malaysia boost its economy with new investments." Located in the Samalaju Industrial Park in Sarawak, the HK$7.75-billion plant began construction last year with an estimated annual capacity of 6,200 tonnes. The second-phase construction will begin this year with an additional 13,800 tonnes, bringing the total annual capacity to about 20,000 tonnes. The Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy attracted Tokuyama to the site, wherein 24,000MW energy capacity can adequately and competitively support energy-intensive industries such as polycrystalline silicon manufacture. Slated for operation next year, the plant will serve Tokuyama's customers in Japan, Europe, Taiwan, South Korea and on the mainland. Looking ahead, the company targets the Middle East, Indonesia, Malaysia and other markets where solar energy use has the most potential. "Our goal is to first satisfy our existing customers' growing demand, and eventually support emerging markets," Sanuki says. "We are optimistic on the solar energy market and the value we can add to the industry. In five years, we hope to begin the third phase of our Malaysia plant."