Penang, Nov 5, 2021 – Three large local companies (LLCs), namely, Greatech Technology Berhad (Greatech), Pentamaster Corporation Berhad (Pentamaster) and UWC Berhad (UWC) are expanding their respective footprints in Penang. The three renowned companies in the equipment manufacturing supply chain are collectively taking up 35 acres in Batu Kawan Industrial Park, Penang, and will invest a total of RM520 million in their expansion projects. All three projects are slated to commence in 1Q 2022, and are expected to create up to 1,300 new job opportunities for local talent. The investment announcements were made in a joint press conference held in Penang Development Corporation (PDC).
Ms Ooi Hooi Kiang, Board Chair of Greatech said during the joint press conference: “With a total built-up area of 265,000 sq ft, the new facility, Batu Kawan IV, will house high-value designing and assembly activities for new products that cater for the emerging industries, namely life science and semiconductor. We target to complete the construction by 3Q 2022.” Ooi added that the new facility will create 500 new jobs, of which, 300 will be engineers and the remaining 200 will be assembly workers and machinists. Once the new facility comes on stream, Greatech will staff 1,200 employees in total.
Mr. Chuah Choon Bin, the Executive Chairman of Pentamaster expressed his gratitude to Penang State Government, InvestPenang, MIDA and PDC for creating a business environment that supports local investments, particularly in the advanced automation industry. He also acknowledged Penang as the destination of choice for Pentamaster’s investment and innovation journey. “This new facility will be Pentamaster’s third factory in Penang, since our inception in 1991. With a RM120 million investment, this 500,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility will bring our total built-up area to 750,000 sq ft. To be supported by 300 new engineers, this expansion is to accommodate our automation solutions for the medical industry, factories and warehouses as well as test farm for wafer burn-in, optical sensors testing and contract manufacturing of equipment,” said Mr. Chuah.
UWC Executive Director & Group CEO, Dato’ Ng Chai Eng said: “Over a period of 3 years, UWC will be investing RM200 million into this expansion project, complementing our long-term plan to transform into a vertically integrated player. Over the years, UWC has been continuously expanding its facilities and capacities to cater to the strong growth of our customers in the semiconductor and life science industries. We are optimistic with the outlook of these industries to remain robust in the years to come. This expansion also ties with our venture into the higher end of the value chain such as front-end semiconductor, autonomous chips tester, 5G tester and V2V tester. I am delighted that this project will create 300 engineering positions and 200 technician vacancies for the local talent, further boosting Penang’s position as a talent magnet in the northern region.”
The Chief Minister of Penang, Right Honourable Mr. Chow Kon Yeow applauded Greatech, Pentamaster and UWC for their reinvestment decisions. “Dominated by the local companies, Penang has a comprehensive supply chain in the Machinery and Equipment (M&E) and automation segments. Greatech, Pentamaster and UWC are among the remarkable players in the M&E and automation fields. I am very proud that these Penang homegrown companies’ capabilities in providing cutting edge engineering solutions and cost-effective equipment are being acknowledged by the global technology frontiers. With the flourishing development in the M&E industry in Penang, I am confident that Penang is on the right trajectory to transform into a global front-to-backend equipment manufacturing hub,” Chow said.
Dato’ Seri Lee Kah Choon, Special Investment Advisor to the Chief Minister of Penang, is confident over the capabilities of LLCs in elevating Penang’s industrial ecosystem, “The growing strength of LLCs continues to groom local SMEs for bigger and brighter ambitions through increased business opportunities and knowledge transfer. This creates a new generation of emerging local companies and enhances the industrial ecosystem. To this end, the State, via InvestPenang, has embarked on multipronged efforts in addressing the need for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) talent via a collaborative partnership with TVET institutions and industry players. This tripartite relationship serves as an enabler in nurturing and developing local talent to meet the demands of industries, in terms of both the volume and capabilities of graduates.”
To ensure the sustainability of industrial development, Dato’ Mohd Bazid bin Haji Abd Kahar, CEO of PDC, said: “Penang Development Corporation (PDC) is currently developing two new industrial parks, namely Batu Kawan Industrial Park 2 and East Batu Kawan, that will collectively add 1,500 acres to Penang’s industrial land bank. The phased development of these two parks will come on stream from 2023 onwards, and once fully completed, will surpass the size of the existing Batu Kawan Industrial Park and serve Penang’s promoted sectors and prepare for a new wave of strategic investments into the State.”
The joint press conference was also attended by Dato’ Loo Lee Lian, CEO of InvestPenang, Mr. Muhammad Ghaddaffi bin Sardar Mohamed, Director of MIDA Penang, Mr. Mohd Faizal Hizam bin Mat Supri, Assistant Director of MIDA Penang, Ms. Koay Lin Lin, CFO of Greatech and Mr. Matin Ng Chin Liang, Deputy Group CEO of UWC.
InvestPenang is the Penang State Government’s principal agency for promotion of investment. Its objectives are to develop and sustain Penang’s economy by enhancing and continuously supporting business activities in the State through foreign and local investments, including spawning viable new growth centres. To realize its objectives, InvestPenang also runs initiatives like the SMART Penang Centre (providing assistance to SMEs), Penang CAT Centre (for talent attraction and retention) and i4.0 seed fund (a catalyst for the startup ecosystem).
About Penang Development Corporation
The Penang Development Corporation (PDC) was established in 1969 as the leading development agency for the Penang State Government. PDC has been tasked to spearhead the socio-economic growth, create employment opportunities and improve the quality of life in Penang. PDC’s main activities include the development of industrial parks, townships and affordable housing. Since its inception, PDC’s strategies in industrial and housing development have enabled Penang to position itself as a leading industrial, tourism and services hub in the region.
About Greatech Technology Berhad
Greatech Technology Berhad, together with its subsidiaries, is a Malaysia-based leading automation solutions provider involved in the design, development and production of system, machinery and equipment for customers’ manufacturing processes. Greatech also provides value-added services including parts, training and after-sales support. Greatech’s automation system is installed in countries across the world, including China, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, the United States of America and certain European Union countries, with customers operating in solar, semiconductor, consumer electronics, energy storage and life science industries.
About Pentamaster Corporation Berhad
Pentamaster Corporation Berhad is an automation manufacturing and technology solutions provider. With over 25 years of experience and skills in providing integrated and customized solutions, Pentamaster serves customers across worldwide industries sectors ranging from semiconductor, computer, automotive, electrical & electronics, pharmaceutical, medical devices, food & beverages, consumer electronics to general manufacturing, with customers coming from the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and ASEAN countries. Via its subsidiaries, Pentamaster provides an integrated range of innovative services in manufacturing of automated and semi-automated machinery and equipment.
About UWC Berhad
UWC Berhad is an integrated engineering service provider, providing manufacturing services for test equipment players in the semiconductor and life science industries. Delivering its products to clientele globally, UWC’s current focuses are mainly on logic chip tester, wafer level test handler, autonomous chips tester and life science test equipment. Aside from extensive experience in design, quick-turn phototyping, product verification, volume production and logistics, UWC is also equipped with advanced equipment and engineering systems to enable the handling of both small and large production runs. Moving forward, UWC will emphasis on 5G test equipment, V2V test equipment and EV related test equipment.
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Yeoh Bit Kun/ Ooi Phei Wen