SHAH ALAM: Pestech International Bhd aims to expand into three new markets within South-East Asia – the Philippines, Myanmar and Thailand – this year, to further build its track record in the region.
The fully integrated electric power technology company has also earmarked Indonesia for more opportunities, but it has to first find a joint-venture partner.
Pestech’s principal business includes designing, engineering, manufacturing, installation, testing and commissioning and construction of high-voltage and extra high-voltage substations and equipment, transmission lines and underground cables connections for electricity transmission and distribution.
It also provides maintenance, upgrading and retrofitting works.
Executive director and chief executive officer Paul Lim said the company had started tendering for contracts in the Philippines and Myanmar while Thailand had been temporarily put on the back burner, in light of its current political environment.
“We are concentrating in the Philippines now, where we have started bidding. Thailand has allowed us to bid there but we are slowing down a bit these few months.
“In Indonesia, we are identifying partners but we have not bid because we cannot go it alone as a foreign company,” he told StarBiz.
Pestech will continue to bid in Myanmar where it has been invited to go in for technical clarification first.
Lim noted there was still a lot of demand in the developing countries, especially for the next 10 to 15 years.
“Our concentration will be in this region. Where we already have a market, we will continue to move our projects forward and maintain our returns,” he said.
While Malaysia remains its biggest market, the group has international projects in Ghana, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Brunei, North Korea and Papua New Guinea.
Lim emphasised on being the first to win the trust of clients for long-term business.
“We will go more aggressively in new markets to establish a foothold because we are in an industry of very conservative customers. Once we enter the market and serve them, they normally become a returning customer.”
Last year, 49% of Pestech’s customer base were returning customers.
Despite the expansion plans, Lim said the company was not increasing its capex as yet.
“We are not planning any investment this year as we have already factored in our growth plans last year,” he said
He added that its head count had grown threefold from 100 at its listing to over 310.
Lim said: “Once we hit RM500mil in our order book, we will then re-access our workforce and needed capex for more jobs.”
Pestech’s order book as at Jan 15 was RM425mil, a third contract from Sarawak Energy Bhd worth RM85mil being its latest job.
If there are no job replenishments, Pestech will end 2014 with RM240mil left in its order book.
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