The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) announced February 28 that Greatech Technology Berhad, through its subsidiary Greatech Integration (M) Sdn. Bhd., a Malaysia-based leading automation solutions provider, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new facility in Penang. The new additional facility, BK IV, will be constructed on an 11.5-acre site in Batu Kawan Industrial Park and will bring the company’s total combined floor area to more than 1.2 million sq. ft. “Penang’s homegrown companies held critical roles in promoting the growth of the machinery and equipment (M&E) sector in the state,” said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, noting that investments in the M&E sector in Penang from 2020 to September 2022 totaled more than US$1.6 billion, or 57% of the country’s total. “. I am confident that the growing strength of local companies will translate into more opportunities, anchoring our position as the Silicon Valley of the East.” Emphasizing the importance of talent, Greatech Board Chair Ooi Hooi Kiang said, “Greatech has grown rapidly in the last five years, broadening our customers base across the world. Furthermore, our headcount significantly increased from 350 in 2018 to 1,300 to date. This has contributed to the creation of high-impact job opportunities with 50% of the total staff being design engineers and 98% of them being local hires. We also envision building Penang into a world-class automation hub and becoming the global top 10 factory automation solutions provider in the next few years.”
Eighteen months after the company’s announcement of a new $27.7 million manufacturing facility in Albemarle County, Virginia, Bonumose has opened the new facility in its hometown for the production of tagatose, a sweet plant-based material, for use in a wide range of food and beverage products. “Tagatose is 90% as sweet as table sugar, but with 62% fewer calories than regular sugar, with no bitter aftertaste,” a company release stated, noting the product’s status as probiotic, kosher, non-GMO and ketogenic. “It is also ultra-low on the glycemic index,” the company said, “making it a suitable sweetener for people with diabetes or anyone watching their health.” An equity investment co-led by sweetener company ASR Group and The Hershey Company supported the facility, as did a loan from X-Caliber Rural Capital. So far, Bonumose has brought more than 30 jobs to the Charlottesville community. “Opening this new facility is an important milestone on the road to bringing the benefits of tagatose to the public,” said Bonumose CEO Ed Rogers. “More so than any other alternative to sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, we believe tagatose can enable better-for-you foods that are on parity for palatability and price with consumer favorites.” The company was founded in Charlottesville in 2016.