MALAYSIA: Glovemaker Hartalega seeks land in S'gor for expansion

"We are looking to buy land in Bestari Jaya because it would be easier to manage, but so far we haven't found any yet,” managing director Kuan Mun Leong said. The land size would range from 20 acres to 30 acres.

Hartalega has six plants in Bestari Jaya with 55 production lines that can produce 13 billion pieces of gloves annually, according to its website.

The company said it would invest RM1.9 billion over eight years for the NGC complex in Sepang to grow production by an average rate of 15 % every year.

"While we are busy with the construction of the NGC, we are also looking to expand the facilities at Bestari Jaya,” Kuan said.

However, an analyst opines that the NGC project will be Hartalega's main focus.

"The NGC project has been delayed for close to a year. Hence, we think that the expansion in Bestari Jaya would have to wait,” the analyst said.

Kuan said the group would start production at NGC with two lines coming on stream in September with new lines to be added progressively.

"By 2015, our target is to have additional capacity of 6.6 billion pieces,” he said.

The group is targeting to increase its glove production capacity to 28.5 billion pieces a year when the NGC is fully completed. Hartalega is planning to build six high-capacity manufacturing plants on the 3.84 ha NGC complex to house 72 glove production lines.

Kuan said currently Hartalega produced 90 % nitrile and 10 % natural rubber (NR) gloves.

"We believe that 70 % nitrile and 30 % NR is a good mix, but it is not an issue, since all our lines are interchangeable.”

Source: Daily "The Star", Kuala Lumpur; 2 Jan 2014

(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)