KUALA LUMPUR: Main Market-listed EP Manufacturing Bhd (EPMB) is venturing into carbon credits following strategic partnerships with ESG-focused global funds as it looks to fulfil its ESG vision.
EPMB, which has diversified into electric vehicles (EV), has come together with its international partners committed to reducing its carbon footprint.
On 16 September 2022, EPMB inked an investment agreement with CIS Pride Fund SPC and China-based Sharkgulf Technologies Group Ltd, whereby the funds will be investing a minimum of US$50 million in setting up a battery swapping infrastructure for the Blueshark-branded two-wheeled EVs.
To recap, EPMB partnered with Sharkgulf to roll out Blueshark-branded two-wheeled EVs in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
CIS Pride ESG Fund will invest in EPMB's EV business for its related financial leasing, supply chain, and manufacturing.
The fund is led by J Ernst Lee, the representative director of the Auster Fund, which has assets under management of US$1 billion with the Rothschild family.
Sitting on the Global Advisory Board of CIS Pride ESG Fund is Han Seung-Soo, former Prime Minister of South Korea and the 2001-2002 President of the United Nations General Assembly.
Separately, on 16 September 2022, EPMB signed another investment agreement with Abu Dhabi-based Siraj Holding LLC and Sharkgulf, whereby Siraj will invest a minimum of US$50 million in procuring Blueshark-branded two-wheelers from EPMB and leasing them to Malaysians in the B40 category, offering them gig employment opportunities for additional income.
This will be part of EPMB's roll-out programme before the end of end-2022.
Siraj Holding LLC, an arm of the Al-Otaiba family, is a successful entity based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
They are financiers whose portfolio includes banking, asset management, insurance, oil and gas interests, hospitality, property development, property and infrastructure investments, commodities trading, technology, and others. Siraj holds a total asset base of approximately US$10 billion.
On 15 September 2022, EPMB also entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai-based SJQ Investments LLC and Sharkgulf to explore the expansion and development of two-wheeled EVs for the Middle East and African markets.
SJQ, led by Sheikh Saqer J Al-Qassimi, seeks to establish a manufacturing, sales and distribution centre with EPMB in Ras Al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.
EPMB executive chairman Hamidon Abdullah said the company and its new international partners are committed to reducing carbon footprints.
"In this respect, our two-wheeled EV programme announced previously is one such initiative. It is the beginning.
"Moving forward, these partnerships will be exploring related initiatives. Carbon-neutral solutions are where the world is going. EPMB will continue to evaluate and invest in this direction. The result is that EPMB can and will build its share of carbon credits, he said in a statement.
He said that with EPMB's recently signed collaborations, the company certainly has the expertise, networking and financial resources to explore and bring this asset, viz-a-viz carbon credits, to the next level.
We aspire, within these partnerships, that EPMB can mature into a platform for future carbon credit trading."
It is noteworthy that the National Committee for Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) and Homologation, Road Transport Department of Malaysia (RTD), on 30 August 2022, approved the VTA for the Blueshark R1 model under the Malaysia Road Transport Act 1987.
A certificate for the VTA has been issued to EP Blueshark Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of EPMB.
The VTA approval was secured about a month after EPMB received conditional approval from the government to construct its maiden manufacturing plant for electric two-wheelers.