SEBERANG PERAI, Feb 21 — SAM Engineering and Equipment (M) Bhd (SAMEE) sees strong prospects for the aerospace industry that is expanding its footprint here with the launch of its new plant in Penang Science Park here today.
SAMEE chief executive officer Jeffrey Goh Wee Keng said the aerospace industry still enjoyed steady demand.
“Our order book value is now at RM3.1 billion for engine casing and small to large aerostructure,” he said during a press conference at the official launch of the new plant in Bukit Minyak here.
SAMEE launched its newest RM140 million manufacturing plant to produce aerospace components for Airbus commercial aircraft today.
The new 145,000 sq ft plant is equipped with state-of-the-art precision machinery and will employ 200 highly-skilled workers at full capacity.
The manufacturing facility, which produces nacelle structures for the Airbus A320neo and the A350 aircraft, is the company’s latest and ninth facility in the world, adding to the five existing plants in Malaysia, two in Singapore and one in Thailand.
“SAMEE has become an important aerospace manufacturing hub for SAM and it is a long-term, capital intensive business,” Goh said.
He added that the new facility will push SAMEE’s growth in the aerospace business in Malaysia.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, in his speech at the official opening of the plant, said SAMEE invested RM134.5 million in the financial year of 2018, of which RM113.7 million was for the aerospace business.
“The group ended the year with a healthy projected order book of RM3.1 billion,” he said.
He said Penang’s local talents are beneficiaries of SAMEE’s growth with the company spending about RM1.3 million annually to train its employees.
“SAMEE’s engineers are sent overseas for on-the-job training and for engineering collaborations with its counterparts in Singapore and China,” he said.
According to SAMEE chairman Tan Kai Hoe, SAM invested RM30 million in its first aerospace facility in Bayan Lepas in Penang in 2010 to produce aero-engine fan cases.
“Since then, we have transformed SAMEE’s business from a semiconductor back-end business, moving up the value-chain and venturing into the high entry-barrier sectors in the semiconductor front-end and aerospace sectors,” he said in his speech.
He said SAMEE has a revenue of about RM600 million and a market value of RM1 billion.
About 60 per cent of SAMEE’s revenue comes from the aerospace sector.
SAMEE’s Bayan Lepas aerospace facility has delivered more than 8,000 aero-engine cases while its Singapore facility has delivered another 31,000 aero-engine cases.