THE Switzerland-based electrical measurement company LEM has chosen Penang to expand its footprint into Southeast Asia.
LEM chief executive officer Frank Rehfeld said the proposed capital investment for the new plant in Penang is about RM70 million.
“The facility will be the company’s first manufacturing plant in Malaysia.
“The new 12,000sq m plant is expected to be completed in 2024 and this project is expected to generate 500 jobs over the next five to eight years.
“Here in Penang, we are going to focus on the integrated current sensor (ICS) and producing and testing a new key product.
“We have great growth ambitions for the ICS, and that explains the scope of our plans.
“And we expect the first products to come online in the first quarter of 2024 and serve customers across Asia, Europe and the United States in automation, automotive and renewable energy businesses,” Rehfeld said in his speech during the groundbreaking ceremony at the Penang Science Park North, Simpang Ampat, today.
Rehfeld added that the main reason LEM decided to invest in Penang was due to the talented workforce.
“It all comes down to talent, and that is a key reason why we decided to invest here.
“The people of this region have a great reputation for hard work and speed of response, alongside their particular expertise in the electronics industries.
“I have worked in China for over 12 years and can identify many common attributes with you here.
“I do not doubt that the talent of Penang will quickly establish new performance levels to make all of us proud at LEM,” he said.
LEM Board of Directors chairman Andreas Hurlimann said the upcoming new plant in Penang is the third major expansion in a decade after Bulgaria and France.
“Our choice of Penang followed a comprehensive evaluation process across many countries in the region, and we first announced the project publicly to our investors in January 2020.
“And based on our evaluation, we believe that Penang will provide the required capacity for further organic and profitable growth, all self-financed from our healthy balance sheet and recurring cashflows.
“Secondly, we are confident that Penang will complement and diversify our global footprint, thus increasing resilience in uncertain times,” he said.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who graced the ceremony, was delighted to welcome LEM to Penang.
“A well-developed ecosystem and supply chain resiliency are among the key drivers that made Penang a viable location for the electrical and electronics (E&E) players.
“Being a leading company in electrical measurement that serves emerging and high-growth industries, LEM will reap numerous benefits from its operation in Penang while complementing the state’s presence on the global technology map.
“Since our industrialisation journey began in 1972, Penang has made enormous strides. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Penang’s industrialisation this year, the state continues to gather momentum from new and existing investors.
“Our robust industrial ecosystem, strong talent pool and all-rounded state initiatives are among the imperatives for the state’s sustained excellence,” he said.
Chow also thanked the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), InvestPenang and Penang Development Corporation (PDC) for their collaborative efforts in attracting investors and securing the project.
“The Penang government, through InvestPenang, is committed to continuing facilitating and providing its full support towards the on-the-ground implementation of LEM in Penang.
“I look forward to seeing your new facility come to fruition and once again, my heartiest congratulation and best wishes to you all,” Chow added.
Also present at the groundbreaking ceremony today were state Entrepreneurial Development, Trade and Industry Committee chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain, Bukit Tambun assemblyman Goh Choon Aik, InvestPenang chief executive officer Datuk Loo Lee Lian, Chief Minister’s special investment adviser Datuk Seri Lee Kah Choon and Swiss ambassador to Malaysia Andrea Reichlin.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Muhamad Amir Irsyad Omar
Video by Darwina Mohd Daud