Rob van As
Paques spreading its wings in South-East Asia
South-east Asia is going through a period of strong economic growth. The middle classes are benefiting from this and consumption is rising. This, in turn, leads to growth in various sectors, such as the food and beverage industry. And demand for water treatment. For Paques, this was the reason to open a branch in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, in 2015. Rob van As is managing director of Paques Asia Pacific.
“Paques already had branches in India and China,” says Van As. “We also have production facilities there. In Kuala Lumpur, we have a marketing & sales department. In 2016, we also opened an office in Bangkok, with an engineering department. And we are preparing an office in Jakarta.”
Paques’ growing focus on the region stems from the economic growth in South-East Asia. “For example, we are seeing an increase in demand for milk, beer and soft drinks. New factories are being built. The production process involves a lot of wastewater, which needs to be treated. Paques can help.”
Another development is that China has stopped importing waste paper. This offers opportunities for processors in other countries. The paper industry has traditionally been an important customer for Paques’ water treatment plants. The company has recently installed installations at new factories, including Saigon Paper in Vietnam and PT Papertech in Indonesia.
The palm oil industry in Malaysia has also discovered the advantages of Paques. In this production process a lot of wastewater is produced too. Paques has successfully piloted Malaysian Palm Oil Industry to anaerobically treat this water. The first full-scale installation was commissioned in 2018. The installation purifies the water, produces biogas and purifies the biogas of the dangerous H2S.
For the project at Malaysian Palm Oil Industry, Paques received the MISA 2018 Award for best environmental innovation from the Malaysian Dutch Business Council. “Such an award brings publicity and recognition. It helps to meet with important people,” says Van As. What also helps is that the governments in the region are taking tougher action to protect the environment. “The regulations were there, but enforcement was often lacking. This is improving all the time.”
In recent years, Van As and his team have successfully penetrated the markets in South-East Asia. “Paques is well-known in many companies in ‘our’ paper, food and beer & beverage sectors. We offer proven quality and have built installations all over the world that work well. In addition, we have a high delivery reliability. And our engineers always guarantee that an installation functions properly.”