Practical Semester in Singapore
There is no better way to describe Maraike Mandel’s impressions of Singapore than in the words of German poet Matthias Claudius: “When someone makes a journey, he has some tales to tell…”. But first things first …, perhaps we should allow the 22-year-old MWM GmbH student at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University to relate her impressions of her nearly three-month stay at MWM Asia Pacific in the city state of Singapore in her own words:
My name is Maraike Mandel and I am 22 years old. I am an MWM GmbH student at the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Mannheim, already in my 5th semester. I celebrated my 22nd birthday far away from home in Singapore. During this time, I was spending just under three months at MWM Asia Pacific Ltd. in Singapore as part of the practical phase of my studies.
Off to Asia
I was a bit uneasy at first – traveling so far and being away for so long…! But my reservations were totally groundless, because on-site everything had been perfectly prepared and organized by the colleagues. In a student dormitory, I was able to move into a small, single room with a kitchenette and my own bathroom. I came to MWM Asia Pacific each day via a specially arranged company pick-up, a small van that frequents various stops and picks up the employees. At 6:35 in the morning, I was picked up at the hostel and was in the office shortly after 7.00 AM. The workday begun at 8:00 AM, and most of the employees used the time before work to eat breakfast. The workday ended at 5:15 PM, and I was back in the hostel at around 6:00 PM, because there was always lots of traffic on the streets in the evenings. No wonder if you consider that in Singapore, some 5.3 million people live in an area roughly the size of Hamburg.
I naturally spent most of my time at MWM Asia Pacific Ltd. The company is a subsidiary of Mannheim-based MWM.
I researched biogas treatment plants on-site, in order to obtain an overview of the various systems and suppliers for gas treatment. I compiled my findings in a practical report for Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University. In addition to my work in the office, I was able to participate in business trips, first to Kuala Lumpur to an MWM plant for the treatment of landfill gas, and then to Bangkok.
On the weekends, I tried to take in as many of the countless attractions in Singapore as possible. In doing so, the three months at MWM Asia Pacific went by at blinding speed, and as a result of my trip, I’ve taken home many new and interesting impressions.
A Location with Tradition
The company has been responsible for the Asia Pacific region since 1970. The colleagues at MWM Asia Pacific cover a vast territory from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, through Myanmar and Thailand, across Indonesia and the Philippines, and all the way to Japan and South Korea – and let’s not forget their home market of Singapore. This city state in Southeast Asia is a superb location, boasting an excellent infrastructure. Whether from the large Changi Airport or the busy sea port of Singapore – the connections into the Asia Pacific region or to Europe are excellent. In addition to MWM, many other major multinational companies value Singapore as a location for its tremendous infrastructure.
A total of 35 people are employed at the MWM Asia Pacific headquarters in Sales, Components and Spare Parts as well as in the Service department. The fourth area is the in-house Service Center, headed up by Max Cheong, supporting all the other departments in the fields of Finance, Transport, IT Services, Human Resources and many other things. This nine-person team also handles Financial Controlling, communication with the local authorities as well as the exchange and communication with dealers, customers, and of course the company’s main headquarters in Mannheim.
In addition to department head John Tan, eight additional employees work in the Sales department. In Parts Sales, eight employees handle sales of individual and plant components, as well as the inventories in MWM Asia Pacific’s own warehouse. In Service Support, eight employees support the local dealers and organize training sessions for dealers and customers in the field of maintenance and service for MWM products.
CEO Dr. Ruprecht Lattermann is particularly proud of the fact that many employees have been loyal to MWM for so long and that employee turnover is very low. One employee was already able to celebrate her 40th anniversary with the company, and others have also been with the firm for a similarly long time.
A large share of the projects in this territory are handled via local dealers who have the best market knowledge in their region. The colleagues from MWM Asia Pacific train and support the dealers extensively in their efforts to expand the market share of MWM in their regions.
One of the partners in the region is Kaltimex Energy Bangladesh (Pvt.)Ltd in Dhaka, with whom MWM Asia Pacific has already completed various major projects, most recently a 56 MWel power plant in Ashuganj in Bangladesh. “United Ashuganj Power Ltd” is a power plant that produces electricity for the public grid. 14 MWM-TCG 2032 V16 units, each with a capacity of just under 4 MWel, produce some 55.55 MWel of power here out of natural gas.
Also in Singapore itself, MWM Asia Pacific has numerous references. In fact, the company has been working with the public utilities in Singapore for over ten years now. During the past two years, MWM, working in cooperation with Greenpower Asia, the Singapore subsidiary of its Indonesian dealer PT Euroasiatic Heat & Power Systems, installed various gensets for cogen power plants in the pharmaceutical and food industry, at GlaxoSmith Kline and Fuji Oil Singapore. Both customers rely on MWM TCG 2020 engines for producing electricity.
Just how capable MWM Asia Pacific is as a partner of international, municipal, and private companies, is demonstrated by the impressive output statistics. Thus over the past ten years, the MWM subsidiary has delivered engines and plants to Southeast Asia with a total output of more than 1,200 MW.
Photos: MWM GmbH, MWM Asia-Pacific Pte. Ltd., Maraike Mandel