AT&S’s manufacturing facility in Malaysia represents an impressive investment of RM8.5 billion (€1.7 billion) in Kulim Hi-Tech Park, Kedah. It stands as one of the most significant Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Malaysia for 2021 and the largest in AT&S’s history for a single plant. Once completed, featuring two key production plants, it will generate 6,000 high-skilled job opportunities for local and neighbouring communities. AT&S Malaysia is poised to transform Kulim into a hotspot for an entirely new, pioneering technology segment.
Recent milestones at the AT&S Kulim Site include the roof closing of the first production plant and the installation of the first set of tools. The next milestones, including completing the first production plant, installing and qualifying the tools, and product qualification, are targeted for early 2024. The ramp-up for serial production is expected to begin by the end of 2024, with the second production plant projected to obtain its Certificate of Completion and Compliance around the same time. Operational timings will be determined based on global market dynamics.
To offer a sense of scale, the two production plants will utilise 160,000 cubic metre of concrete and 24,000 tonnes of steel, which is approximately 2.5 times the amount of steel used to construct the Eiffel Tower.
AT&S’s decision to establish its first-ever Southeast Asia venture in Malaysia was influenced by several key factors. Malaysia’s Penang and Kedah regions have a mature electrical and electronics (E&E) industry with decades of semiconductor expertise. Moreover, Malaysia’s status as a vital hub for the chip supply chain, coupled with proximity to its major customers, made it an attractive choice for operations in Kulim Hi-Tech Park. The emphasis on providing a skilled workforce for the E&E industry in Malaysia, which employs over 575,000 individuals, further supported this decision.
Other factors favouring AT&S’s greenfield project in Malaysia include well-developed logistics infrastructure, convenient access to an airport, an efficient road network, and stable power and water supplies. Kulim Hi-Tech Park itself is a thriving industrial hub, hosting more than 40 industrial tenants across various sectors. Malaysia also boasts a supportive ecosystem, with educational institutions capable of producing the required talent.
Malaysia has established itself as a mature, major player in the rapidly expanding E&E market. In 2022, the E&E industry contributed 7% to Malaysia’s national GDP1, and the semiconductor industry celebrated its 50th anniversary in the same year. With decades of experience and the previously mentioned advantages, Malaysia offers strong support systems and industry associations to nurture the growth of this dynamic sector. Also, the country offers a robust network of local suppliers willing to upskill and adopt new technologies, making it an attractive destination for investors.