Three new semiconductor companies landing in Penang: Chow

GEORGE TOWN: Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today announced the intention of three new semiconductor companies to invest in Penang.

The three are China Wafer Level CSP Co (WLCSP), Ningbo SJ Electronics Co (SJE) and Wuxi AMTE Inc (AMTE).

Together, the three companies are expected to invest a total of USD$100 million, according to Blue Chip Venture Capital (BCVC), which played a pivotal role in attracting these strategic investments to the state.

Chow said the three companies are set to bolster Penang's growing IC (Integrated Circuit) design and advanced packaging ecosystem.

"Penang is indeed proud to be the chosen location for these three semiconductor businesses, which also signifies the confidence that foreign investors have placed in Penang.

"The landing of these three semiconductor companies is expected to create new and exciting opportunities for the local suppliers.

"This strategic move will further develop a robust and efficient supply chain ecosystem," he told newsmen at the Ascott Hotel Gurney here today.

Chow's announcement came on the heel of his predecessor, Lim Guan Eng, asking him to explain how the state lost a multi-million ringgit IC design project to Selangor.

Selangor had recently announced that the state would be building an IC design park in Bandar Puteri, Puchong in July.

Tech-related companies such as ARM Limited and Phison Malaysia had already commit to set up operations in the park, touted to be the largest in Southeast Asia.

Lim had said that a post-mortem should be conducted to determine how Penang missed the opportunity when it leads in the sector.

Asked for his comment, Chow said the companies brought in by BCVC also possessed IC capabilities.

"They can also do IC work.

"In Penang, there are, as I said in my earlier statement, so many IC design companies in Penang with this capability.

"We may not have an IC park but we have a lot of IC-related companies and more will come," he said.

Pressed if he was willing to meet Lim to explain, Chow said he welcomed it.

"Okay. We can meet. Don't bother the press to report on our response.

"It is very puzzling for our investors," he added.

Meanwhile, on the three companies, Chow said they are starting the process to finalise planning to invest in Penang.

He said the process would usually take a few months before the investments are realised.

"Right now, there are looking at suitable sites," he added.

Meanwhile, BCVC co-founder and chief executive officer Tim Chen said at least another 15 companies are looking at investing in Penang.

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