Penang finalises talks with HP and Seagate to seal major investments

GEORGE TOWN: Penang could expect another wave of investments from Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Seagate in the manufacturing sector soon.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the multinational corporations (MNCs) would be enhancing their investments here.

“Negotiations with the respective companies are being finalised now,” he said at a press conference after launching Zestron Precision Cleaning Sdn Bhd new RM15mil plant at the Prai Industrial Estate yesterday.

Lim declined to comment when asked for details but said announcements would be made soon by the companies. When the deals are sealed, these two investments would form the second and third major investments from MNCs, following SanDisk Corp’s investment for a RM1.2bil flash memory storage product manufacturing facility in Batu Kawan, south Seberang Prai.

In the region, HP maintains its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore. This hub manufactures PCs, servers, imaging and printing products, and oversees research and development for HP’s mobile, inkjet printer, network storage and the Itanium server. The headquarters also coordinate logistics for other HP businesses in Asia.

In Malaysia, HP has a business unit in Kuala Lumpur which operates as a technology solutions provider, offering information technology infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services, and imaging solutions for consumers, enterprises, medium businesses, small business and corporate markets.

In Penang, Seagate manufactures recording heads for disk drives.

Moving forward, Lim said the state government wanted to work with Temasek to attract German small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to invest in Penang. “Temasek has strong ties with German SMEs, which we want to leverage upon,” he added.

Recently, the Penang Development Corp (PDC) signed an MoU with Temasek to form a joint-venture company to develop the Penang International Technology Park and Business Process Outsourcing Prime on a 206 acres in Batu Kawan. The project will take five to 10 years to complete.

Meanwhile, Zestron general manager and director (South Asia) James Yeoh said the plant at the Prai Industrial Estate would start production of precision cleaning solutions for the Asia-Pacific market next year.

“At present, we are operating as a sales and technical support unit in Penang,” he said.

Zestron has five more technical support centres – in Virginia (the United States), Tokyo, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Bavaria.

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