MALAYSIA – Global food packaging specialist Huhtamaki has announced a €10 million (about US$ 12.15 million) investment in a new manufacturing site in Malaysia, in order to better serve its customers in Southeast Asia.

The relocation comes a month after the Finnish based company announced that it is establishing a new fibre packaging manufacturing plant at its existing site in Alabuga, Russia.

According to Huhtamaki, the Russia facility expansion became neccessary after the company witnessed a rapid growth of the retail and egg packaging sectors in the region.

As part of the investment in the new Malaysian facility, the company is transferring its manufacturing base from Penang to Port Klang, Selangor State – the capital region of the country – as it seeks to better serve its customers and respond to future growth of the sector.

Like its existing plant, the facility will initially focus on manufacturing paper cups, but Huhtamaki says the new site will allow it to expand its product range and introduce new sustainable paper-based technologies.

The approximately US$12.15 million investment will be used to improve the infrastructure and fund machinery investments and installations.

The new site is expected to be fully operational by the end of the second quarter of 2021.

According to Huhtamaki, its current employees in its Malaysia site – approximately 150 people – will be offered the opportunity to relocate to the new site.

Eric Le Lay, president of Fiber Foodservice EAO at Huhtamaki, said: “By investing in a world-class facility in Malaysia we are creating a platform for future growth in Southeast Asia.

“The new site is strategically located; it is close to our key customers and has easy access to neighbouring countries. We will also use the relocation as an opportunity to modernise our equipment and increase automation to improve efficiency.”

Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, Huhtamaki is a global food packaging specialist with operations in 36 country and 81 sites around the world.

Its products include paper and plastic disposable tableware, such as cups, plates and containers for quick service restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, caterers and vending operators.

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