GEORGE TOWN: Global medical technology business Smith + Nephew today announced the setting up of its new high technology manufacturing facility in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park.
The new facility will primarily supports Smith + Nephew’s orthopedics franchise, which has been growing strongly in the Asia Pacific region.
In addition, the UK-headquartered multi-national corporation expects to create up to 800 new jobs over the next five years, including roles in manufacturing, engineering and supply chain.
Smith + Nephew manufacturing network strategy vice-president Ross Macken said Penang was chosen as it provided a great balance of manufacturing expertise, stable economy, established infrastructure, long history of foreign direct investment and established supply chain.
“Investing in Malaysia gives us a new presence close to our highest growth markets and enables us to be part of a growing medics device centre of excellence,” he said when announcing the investment in the presence of Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow at the latter’s office in Komtar here.
Also present was Smith + Nephew Malaysia manufacturing site leader Mark Arthun.
Macken said the new facility would initially be 250,000sq ft, with the opportunity to expand in the future if required.
“Construction is expected to begin early next year, with the first production batches shipped before the end of 2022.
“Our products manufactured here are meant for the domestic market as well as exported all around the world,” he added.
On investment to be pumped into the new facility, Macken said it was still early to reveal.
“We are currently at the design stage of the project so there is no figure yet but it will be a significant investment,” he said.
On the 800 new jobs to be created, Macken said only a small number would be expats with the company’s intention to have the facility here managed by the locals.
Meanwhile, Chow, in welcoming the investment, said Penang is pleased to have been selected to house Smith + Nephew’s South-East Asia’s first manufacturing facility.
“We look forward to deepening the partnership between Smith + Nephew and the Penang government.
“With this latest addition, Penang is poised to further enhance and expand its capability in the medical technology and devices industry,” he added.
In the first half of this year, Penang recorded RM9.2 billion of total approved manufacturing investment, the highest among the states and surpassed the 2018’s full year manufacturing investments of RM5.8 billion.
Founded in Hull, the United Kingdom in 1856, Smith + Nephew, with over 16,000 employees, operates in more than 100 countries and generated annual sales of $4.9 billion in 2018.