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Semperit to invest $68.2 million in Malaysian glove factory

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VIENNA, Austria—Semperit A.G.'s Sempermed business plans to build another factory in Kamunting, Malaysia, to increase its production capacity significantly for examination gloves.

Cost of the expansion project is estimated at $68.2 million, the firm's largest investment ever made for an addition, according to a company spokeswoman. The investment will be made between 2014 and 2016, she said. The size of the plant was not released.

Construction of the structure has begun, she said, with completion of the entire project expected at the end of 2016. The company will begin producing some nitrile gloves in the middle of 2015 when the first section of the facility is finished.

The new glove factory will be located on a site owned by Semperit that currently houses six facilities. The plants manufacture protective gloves, the spokeswoman said, and were purchased by Semperit when it acquired a majority stake in Latexx Partners Bhd. in 2012. It later bought the remaining shares of the company.

“The integration of Latexx Partners into the Sempermed segment was successfully concluded last year,” according to Thomas Fahnemann, CEO of Semperit A.G. Holding.

He said the expansion and the increase in capacity “will enable us to strengthen our position on the global glove market and move a decisive step closer towards achieving our designated growth targets.”

Semperit only can reach its targeted goals by offering competitive production prices, Fahnemann said. For that reason, the new factory will feature state-of-the-art technologies as the basis for a high level of automation and the optimal use of natural resources, he said, adding that it will be one of the most efficient nitrile glove production plants in the world.

Gas consumption will be 50 percent less than the amount needed for conventional glove manufacturing technologies, the Vienna-based firm said, while electricity needs will be about 20 percent less.

The Semperit group of companies is divided into two sectors, medical and industrial. Sempermed makes up the entire medical segment and produces surgical and examination gloves along with protective gloves for industrial applications.

Three businesses make up the industrial sector: Semperflex, Sempertrans and Semperform. Semperflex makes hydraulic and industrial hose as well as elastomer plates. Sempertrans produces transport and conveyor belts. Semperform specializes in the production of molded parts, profiles, hand rails, rope ways and rubber foils.