SEBERANG PERAI, May 9 — A leading South Korean-based semiconductor manufacturer opened its first South-east Asia facility in Batu Kawan here today, employing a workforce of 700.

Simmtech Holdings Co Ltd set up its Malaysia-based subsidiary, Sustio Sdn Bhd, on 18 acres of land at the Batu Kawan Industrial Park.

It is the manufacturer’s eighth factory, along with its operations in Korea, China and Japan.

Sustio will be manufacturing printed circuit boards (PCB) and packaging substrate for semiconductors.

Simmtech South-east Asia managing director Jeffery Chun said the facility will be producing two million units of PCB and 60 million units of substrate per month when it is in full operations.

“These are the maximum capacity but with room for additional production,” he said in a press conference after the official opening of the factory attended by Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow this morning.

Chun added that the facility is now undergoing a qualification process and once it is qualified, production will begin in full by the second half of the year.

“The market is currently facing a supply shortage situation so we want to start production and ensure fast delivery,” he said.

Even with the opening of the new facility, reportedly at an investment of RM508 million, Chun said the company is discussing expansion plans.

“We are in discussion with InvestPenang and the state authorities on the second phase of the project,” he said.

Earlier, in his speech, Chow said Simmtech announced its investment in Penang in July last year.

“Today, I am glad to witness Sustio’s grand opening ceremony whereby the site construction was completed within nine months and ready to run mass production,” he said.

He said Sustio is expected to reach its full employment of more than 1,000 workers by next year.

“The site in Penang will also increase the total capacity of Simmtech’s substrate and PCB by 20 per cent, a timely ramping up to address the heightened industry demand,” he said.

He said Penang celebrates its 50th anniversary of industrialisation this year and continues to be the most important manufacturing base for electrical and electronic (E&E) products within Malaysia.

He said Penang is among the most vibrant hubs globally, accounting for over five per cent of global semiconductor sales.

“Foreign direct investments (FDI) accounted for 98 percent of total investment inflows, making Penang the country's top manufacturing FDI recipient, capturing 41 per cent of the country’s total FDI during the period,” he said.

Chow said Penang’s exports climbed 14 per cent year-on-year in 2021, reaching an all-time high of RM354 billion and making it the nation's highest contributor in exports.

Penang’s exports are dominated by electrical and electronic (E&E) products.