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Bosch to set up new plant in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: Bosch Malaysia has signed a sales and purchase agreement with the Penang Development Corporation for land in the Batu Kawan Industrial Park in Penang, to build a manufacturing facility focusing on the business of semiconductor components and sensor testing.

Bosch Malaysia managing director Simon Song said the new site is also intended to strengthen the matured ecosystem for the semiconductor industry here in Penang.

“With the long-term forecasts for growth of semiconductor component quantities, coupled with the front-end production in Bosch’s Dresden facility in Germany, capacity expansion is required for the back-end production, which is the final testing phase of semiconductors and sensors,” he said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021 and completion of the production area and first series production to commence in 2023.

The building will sit on an approximately 100,000 sqm of land and will primarily focus on the final testing of components manufactured at Bosch Automotive Electronics’ fab in Dresden, Germany. The plant will also house research & development and training facilities.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the final testing facility in Penang will be the first of its kind for Bosch in Southeast Asia, and was chosen in the region for several reasons.

“First of all, there is a high level of semiconductor knowledge in the region. The proximity to business partners is another advantage.

“Malaysia, and especially Penang, have the ability to manufacture economically, even under cost pressure. According to statistics, Malaysia contributes 10% of back-end semiconductor output globally, among which 8% is contributed by Penang.

“The state government is pleased to further strengthen our relationship with Bosch, one of the eight pioneers that charted Penang’s industrialisation five decades ago. Bosch’s new investment ventures implies the company’s confidence in its technology for the future and Penang’s ecosystem is capable and sustainable in fulfilling the stringent requirements of the automotive industry,” he said.