SEOUL: I-Bhd, property developer of I-City in Shah Alam, Selangor, is bringing the first snowfall experience in South East Asia to Malaysia as it secures exclusive rights to the Korean-made snowfall machine for its SnoWalk -- a 50,000 square feet artic edutaiment centre in Shah Alam.
The snow machine is custom-built for I-City on the company's request to create a unique machine that can generate snow in a tropical environment, its chief executive officer Datuk Eu Hong Chew said.
Without mentioning the cost of the machine, Eu said the first phase was to install the 16-drum machine above the ceiling at the Snowalk grand entrance.
The machine is able to generate six tonnes or approximately 400 kilogrammes of "soft and powdery" snow per day, he told Malaysian journalists after signing a strategic alliance for exclusive rights in Malaysia with Snow Ice Maker BarsKorea's chief executive officer and founder Lee Ki Choon on Thursday at BarsKorea (BK Korea) factory at Incheon Metropolitan City.
BarsKorea, a Korean company based in Incheon, has been supplying snow machines for the food and beverages industry over the past 10 years.
Eu said BarsKorea had agreed to give I-City the exclusive rights, and in return, I-City allows BarsKorea to bring its business customers to view the snowfall machine in operations at I-City.
"I-City uses this Korean technology to create the snow fall through a rotating drum using purified water, and visitors will be able to experience the snowflakes which are very much similar to the snow that falls from the sky, by mid-March," he said.
The snowfall machine was shipped to Malaysia on Thursday night and is expected to reach I-City next week.
Elaborating on the Korean technology, Eu said the equipment has three major components, mainly the chiller, snow drum assembly and condenser. The chiller is to filter and cool the water from Malaysia room temperature (about 24 degree celcius) to 15 degree celcius.
The 50HP (horse power) condenser is the heart of the refrigeration process to freeze the snow drum to minus 35 degree celcius using R-404A environmentally-friendly refrigerant gas.
Each of the 16 snow drums uses a patented drum with blades to create the snowflakes. Then water is fed into the machine and the snow flakes are created instantly and continuously. The snow drum assembly is hung from the ceiling and as the snow flakes fall onto the ground, a blower in the centre of the snow drum assembly simulates the light snow shower.
Asked on the second phase plan for SnoWalk, Eu said: "We want to see the public response on the snow fall and later we will decide to introduce various experimental and enjoyable winter sports and games, with a 4D effect."
This will be the first snowfall experience in South East Asia, and SnoWalk introduces the concept of snow and cold climates in a fun, entertaining and educational way, he said.
"Visitors can experience real snow, and a sub freezing climate and a three-storey high snow slope," he said, adding that I-City will do joint promotions with the National Science Centre in schools and other educational institutions.
Besides experiencing the real falling snow, Eu said visitors can also admire the LED lightscapes set among 100 tonnes of creativity designed ice sculptures.
Workers from Harbin, China, a city famed for its generations of ice cravers and town sized annual ice sculptures, brought their expert skills and home-made tools to Shah Alam to chip and scrap every piece by hand.
Meanwhile, BarsKorea's Marketing Manager Mark Lee, giving a briefing on their snowfall machine product, said BarsKorea took nearly 10 months to complete the project, and will send four to five experts to install and assemble the machine in two to four days as well as to train I-City's engineers for a week or a month until they can use the machine.
"We have the best quality snow production technology and since we use purified water to create snow, people can eat our snow. We have used the same technology in South Korea but this is the first time we have modified our one-drum snowfall equipment to 16-drum machine for Malaysia," he said.
Lee, the son of BarsKorea founder, said BarsKorea has been exporting its single drum snowfall machines to the Philippines, Singapore and Dubai, and some 20 countries used the company's services.
I-City is developed by I-City Properties Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of I-Bhd. I-Bhd is listed on the Bursa Malaysia Main Board, in which, Permodalan Nasional Bhd, Malaysia's biggest fund manager, is a major shareholder.--- Bernama