GEORGE TOWN: A big-name semiconductor equipment manufacturer from the United States plans to invest close to RM1 billion to build a factory in Batu Kawan, Penang, in the first quarter of this year, providing 350 high-value jobs when it opens in 2021.
Lam Research, a supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry, will open its eighth factory on a 138ha site comprising offices, manufacturing facilities and a warehouse. It will cost US$225 million (RM922.5 million).
It has factories in countries such as Austria, South Korea and the US.
In announcing the investment today, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said Lam Research’s entry would provide a significant boost to the thriving electronics and electrical (E&E) ecosystem in the state.
“It will have far-reaching impact, especially on supply chain localisation opportunities, which will, in turn, better the skillset of the technical workforce,” he said in Komtar today.
Lam Research senior vice-president (global operations) Kevin Jennings said it made perfect sense to open in Penang as the electronics and electrical ecosystem here was robust.
“We are the market leader in atomic-level processes critical to semiconductor scaling and manufacturing. In Penang, we will spend about US$150 million and will commit another US$75 million in incremental value for warehousing.
“We are excited to join Penang and partner with the Malaysian government as we add to our global footprint,” he said via a Skype call at the event.
Lam Research, a Fortune 500 company, had revenue of US$9.5 billion in 2019.
Penang already has renowned E&E companies such as Keysight Technologies, National Instruments, Bruker Corp and Agilent.
The state recorded a trade surplus of US$24 billion between Jan and Nov 2019, which was 77% of the country’s trade surplus, with the largest exports coming from the E&E industry.