VAT breaks ground on expansion in Malaysia
The developer and manufacturer of vacuum valves has initiated the latest extension of its production facility in Penang, Malaysia.
The new plant will cover an area of about 39,200 square metres and is expected to create 500 employment opportunities once completed and running at full capacity. This project will more than double the production capacity of VAT’s Malaysian operation, increasing factory output to over CHF 1 billion (EUR 964 million).
The launching of the company's "Phase Three" extension in Penang, will increase the its production capacity further with an initial investment of about CHF 70 million (EUR 67.4 million) over the period 2022 – 2024.
Vacuum valves are mission-critical components for the advanced R&D and manufacturing processes of semiconductors, LED, solar cells, displays and other high vacuum demanding products.
“After thoroughly assessing a number of options for expanding our production capacity, we concluded that Penang was the best location for a number of reasons,” explained Mike Allison, VAT’s CEO in a press release. “Our team in Penang has already done a great job ramping up production in recent years to meet the needs of our fast-growing market, and our decision to expand further in Penang is acknowledgement of their outstanding efforts. In addition, several of our largest OEM customers have operations in the region and boosting our production there will enhance our ability to collaborate with them more effectively and deliver value faster and more efficiently.
Once completed and running at full capacity, the extension is expected to contribute approximately 50% of VAT’s total global production capacity by 2028. VAT Manufacturing Malaysia will be the primary supplier for the company's customers in Republic of Korea, Japan, People’s Republic of China and the rest of Asia. Currently, the local plant employs about 600 people and with demand driven by long-term trends the company anticipates that employment will grow to over 1200 people by the end of 2027.
VAT first began the construction of its manufacturing facility in Penang in 2012 and commenced production in April 2013. The first phase is reflected through an investment of over CHF 30 million (EUR 29 million) in a 6,000 square-metre factory.
In September 2019, VAT inaugurated the second extension of its Penang factory with an investment amounted to CHF 40 million (EUR 38.5 million), covering an area of 24,000 square metre to support strong growth. The second expansion included new resources in engineering and product management, which enable them to respond faster based on the increasing demands in the region.
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