ICI Paints (M) Sdn Bhd will invest some RM3.8mil annually over the next three to four years to upgrade its existing facilities in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, Britain-based ICI Paints plc operations and SSHE senior vice-president Paul Cornelius said.
The investment will be spent on automation and improving the current production capacity, Cornelius said.
He said this yesterday after a ceremony to mark the Nilai plant's adherence to safety, security, health and environment (SSHE) regulations and its achievement of 5 million injury-free man hours over the past 10 years.
He added that there were still several aspects of production such as packaging, which were currently done manually and would be converted to automation.
The safety achievement award was a significant milestone for the plant, which joins only two others that have gained similar recognition among the 50 ICI Paints plants worldwide.
One of the largest ICI Paints manufacturing facility in Asia, the Nilai plant was built in 1994 at a cost of RM70mil and has a minimum annual capacity of 23 million litres.
ICI Paints currently owns 60% stake in the company with Permodalan Nasional Bhd holding the balance 40%.
Commenting on the group's expansion in Asia, Cornelius said ICI Paints was not expected to increase its investment in the region after having invested recently in China, where it had two plants in Shanghai and Guangzhou, producing a total of 75 million litres annually.
Our next investment will be in Vietnam, but that will only happen in two or three years, Cornelius added.
On the Malaysian operations, ICI Paints Malaysia managing director Datuk Syed Salleh Syed Othman said the company was expected to maintain its leading position in the country in view of its strong brand and local network.
We currently has 40% share in the local paint users market, he said, adding that the company was the leading brand in the decorative paint market besides holding a significant share in the industrial paint products such as that used in the packaging industry.
Currently, 90% of the paint materials produced in the Nilai factory were for local consumption , he said.