Nippon Electric Glass (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (NEGM) will be expanding its production capacity of glass tubing for pharmaceutical use at its Shah Alam, Selangor facility. This RM200 million investment project has been approved by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in July 2020 and is expected to start operations by the end of October 2020.
NEGM is a subsidiary of the Nippon Electric Glass Co., Ltd. (NEG), a leading Japanese speciality glass manufacturer, producing high-grade pharmaceutical glass tubing used for pharmaceutical containers such as ampoules and vials. The Group supplies its products to laboratories and medical institutions worldwide. To date, NEG has invested more than RM6 billion in Malaysia on various products such as cathode ray tube (CRT), glass fibre and architectural glass.
In recent years, the steady advancements in medical technology have increased the demand for high-grade pharmaceutical glass tubing globally. Moreover, as COVID-19 vaccines are being developed around the world, concerns are raised on risks of the limited supply of the necessary containers used during clinical trials. Therefore, the Company hopes to play its part to control the COVID-19 pandemic and its eventual cure in vaccine production by ramping up the production capacity of its niche product.
Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer of MIDA, welcomed NEGM’s expansion saying, “Malaysia is proud to be the preferred location for NEGM projects since its establishment here in 1991. As the only company in the region producing high-grade glass tubing for pharmaceutical use, this expansion reinforces our reputation as a sustainable and profitable investment destination for companies looking to do business in ASEAN and beyond.”
“Moreover, NEGM expansion is timely as the Company seeks to increase its production to not only expound on the industry’s growth but to carry out its humanitarian role in responding to the market’s needs during this pandemic. We look forward to NEGM’s successes and continual participation in Malaysia’s industrial ecosystem through on-going talent and vendor development programmes. Together, we can achieve more despite the challenging business climate,” he added.
At present, NEGM employs approximately 1,000 Malaysian workers. Its latest project will increase the Group’s production capacity of glass tubing for pharmaceutical use by about 1,000 tons per month. This translates to a 30 per cent increase in the Company’s current production capacity.
Although the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak had temporarily delayed the construction for the expansion undertaking, work has resumed with the facilitation of MIDA and local authorities, with strict adherence to prevailing standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Indeed, since the 1980s, Japan has been among Malaysia’s largest source of foreign direct investments in the manufacturing sector. As at December 2019, a total of 2,712 manufacturing projects with Japanese participation, valued at RM88.2 billion have been implemented in Malaysia, creating more than 346,000 jobs. Further to this, a total of RM1.1 billion in investments with Japanese interest were approved in the first half of 2020. These investments were primarily in the industries of food manufacturing products, electrical and electronics, transport equipment, machinery and equipment, wood and wood products, as well as paper, printing and publishing.