Feb 11 – Canada-based Eclipse Automation Inc is setting up its first Asian manufacturing facility in Batu Kawan, Penang, which is anticipated to create approximately 150 new jobs by 2025.
In a statement yesterday, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) said about 80% of the employees will be from technical and engineering backgrounds.
“The facility is set to serve its major customers across Asia Pacific and other regions and factory construction is expected to commence within the first quarter of 2022 with commercial operations targeted to begin in 2023.”
Mida chief executive officer Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman said the project was timely and significant, as it could contribute to the Malaysian economy in terms of high-income employment amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This project further strengthens Malaysia’s position as a strategic destination for global machinery and equipment players. It will also create a multiplier effect within the domestic economy in terms of local supply chain usage and technology transfer,” he added.
Eclipse Automation is a leading supplier of custom automated manufacturing equipment for the life sciences, energy, transportation, consumer electronics and industrial industries.
It has 20 facilities strategically located in the vicinity of Fortune 500 companies and manufacturing centres across Canada, the United States and Central Europe.
The Batu Kawan plant, meanwhile, will span three acres of prime industrial land and have a production area of 55,000 sq ft.
There will also be an office area totalling 27,000 sq ft that will be designed to fully support the compliance needs of the customers within the life sciences sector, as well as serve the high-tech automotive, alternative energy and consumer industries.
The site will also act as a cost-effective and desirable strategic location for continued global growth, in collaboration with Eclipse Automation’s current technology and manufacturing hubs in Canada, the US, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland.
Eclipse Automation chief executive officer Steve Mai said the Malaysian facility will allow the group to extend its reach and bring customers’ expert regional support, service and fulfilment within Asia.
“The site in Penang will provide exceptional, value-added manufacturing options to best support global programmes, including replication line and outsourcing model platforms.
“Our Malaysian facility will also employ a large team of highly-qualified engineers, assemblers and other support teams to enhance our ability to provide solutions with a powerful follow-the-sun (FTS) model of service.”
FTS is a global workflow system where tasks are distributed between work sites within different time zones.
With the Malaysian government’s business-friendly policies, Arham said investors such as Eclipse Automation could leverage on the country’s strategic location, vast network of infrastructure, strong support industries as well as talented workforce to become prominent players within the global value chain.
“I am also confident that Eclipse Automation’s investment will be another major step forward for Malaysia and its growth here will be beneficial to our local industry and people,” he said.
According to Mida, a total of 49 machinery and equipment projects with an investment value of RM1.3bil were approved in 2021.
Of the total, 27 were new projects with investments amounting to RM753.7mil (56.3%).
The remaining 22 were expansion/diversification projects worth RM584.4mil (43.7%). Most of the investments approved were from foreign sources amounting to RM906mil or 67.7%, while the remaining RM432.2mil (32.3%) was from domestic direct investments.
These approved projects are expected to create 2,253 new job opportunities.