San Francisco, May 17 — Ferrotec (USA) Corporation has committed to investing more than RM500 million in Malaysia to set up its first manufacturing facility in Southeast Asia.
Construction of the 8.13-hectare facility which will include an 800,000 sq ft manufacturing plant at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park, is expected to begin in a few weeks’ time.
International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said the global supplier of materials, components, precision systems, and worldwide leader in quartz material fabrication for the semiconductor industry, also committed to generating between 250 and 500 high-skilled jobs for Malaysians.
“They are also committed to assisting SMEs in Malaysia in building the supply chain and ecosystem in the semiconductor industry.”
“This is a very positive development where the company not only wants to bring investment into Malaysia, but wants to see Malaysia continue to thrive in new technologies by involving local companies, especially SMEs,” he told Bernama and TV3 after holding a meeting with Ferrotec CEO Eiji Miyanaga on Monday (Tuesday local time).
Azmin also suggested that Ferrotec, especially in the US and Japan, train Malaysian workers including students and professionals in the two countries.
Azmin also met with leading US solar tracker company Nextracker Inc CEO and co-founder Marco Miller.
Azmin said Nextracker would strive to enhance products from Malaysia to penetrate not only the US market but the global market as well.
Speaking to Bernama after meeting Azmin, Miyanaga said the company has nearly 40 factories globally, and the facility in Malaysia would be its first large platform manufacturing site outside of Japan, China and the US.
“We chose Malaysia because Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, has become a focal point of the supply chain for the industry.”
“We feel compelled to invest in Southeast Asia,” he said.
He said Ferrotec plans to employ between 250 and 500 local talents over the next three years and to allow the facility to be run and operated by locals.
“We want to invest in people, and we understand that it is going to take some time. Therefore, for the initial stage, we will bring in expats for a very short period to transfer the technology and train the locals,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nextracker’s Miller said the company is currently doing US$100 million worth of business with two Malaysian companies and is planning to expand its business in the coming years and make Malaysia a key manufacturing partner.
“We chose Malaysia for its geographical location and dedicated, highly skilled workforce which manufactures our high-tech products,” he said.
He said Nextracker is expected to see its Malaysian partners double the workforce from the current 400 employees in the near future to cater to its growing business.