Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow (left) officiating the groundbreaking ceremony of Iconic Medicare PPE Facility on Saturday. With him is Iconic Worldwide Bhd managing director Datuk Tan Kean Tet. BATU KAWAN: Iconic Worldwide Bhd aims to become a leading glove maker in the world following its investment of RM155 million for a new personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing plant here in Penang. Its managing director Datuk Tan Kean Tet said the group's wholly-owned subsidiary, Iconic Medicare Sdn Bhd, intends to manufacture and trade latex and nitrile gloves for household, industrial and medical use, as well as two main types of disposable face masks. "According to the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association, the world demand for gloves is estimated to be 330 billion pieces a year and after the completion of our new manufacturing facility, we are capable of producing 3.3 billion pieces of gloves, which is equivalent to one per cent of the global demand. "The demand for gloves has been on the rise of 10 per cent per annum pre-COVID, but it is expected to rise over 30 per cent per annum due to the pandemic. We have set our sights on producing 17 billion pieces of gloves which commands a global share of approximately five per cent," he said. Tan said this at the ground breaking ceremony of Iconic Medicare’s PPE manufacturing facility by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow here today. He said the new facility will be installing and commissioning glove and disposable face mask production lines which are expected to yield a minimum production capacity of approximately 3.3 billion pieces of gloves and approximately 220 million pieces of face mask per annum. "We expect the glove production to generate a potential revenue of RM1 billion a year while the production of disposable mask is expected to generate a potential revenue of RM100 million per annum once it’s fully operational. "In total, Iconic Worldwide is expected to generate a potential gross profit of RM450 million a year,” he said. He said the new manufacturing facility sited on 2.2 hectares is scheduled to be completed in July next year and operational in September 2021. According to him, a total of 22 production lines comprising 12 glove dipping lines and 10 mask production lines will be installed and commissioned over the course of 12 months. "Beyond that, we are already planning to further increase the production capacity as the amount of orders received has already surpassed what we are capable of," he said.Through the business diversification, Tan said the group hopes to reduce its dependency on the tourism and hospitality segment while generating more job opportunities and contributing to the economy of Penang and Malaysia. - Bernama
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