Aussie’s Cochlear to invest RM30m to expand KL manufacturing facility

COCHLEAR Ltd, the global implantable hearing solutions provider, plans to expand its global manufacturing facility in Kuala Lumpur (KL), elevating Malaysia as one of the global powerhouses in the manufacture and maintenance of hearing implant sound processors. 

The new expansion involves an investment of more than RM30 million to support the company’s growing demand for cochlear and acoustic hearing implants in Malaysia, as well as more than 180 other countries around the world. For the last six years, Cochlear’s site in the country has created more than 270 new job opportunities. 

Cochlear CEO/president Dig Howitt said in addition to making more sound processors, the new global distribution centre supports efficiencies in transporting goods and sustainability benefits by reducing the air miles travelled between the company and its suppliers. 

OKKL is the company’s third largest site in the Cochlear network, he said in a statement. The Malaysian site is one of company’s eight global operations to oversee the design, development, manufacture and supply for the Australian-head- quartered company. 

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) CEO Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman said Cochlear provides a flexible approach to training local talent from the diploma level and beyond with an attractive pay system above the national minimum wage. 

The new expanded site will manufacture and maintain Cochlear’s latest and most advanced cochlear and acoustic implant sound processors. 

With over 300 employees, the facility which spans the area of 50,000 sq ft will include the company’s global logistics, supply chain and information technology services. 

As part of Cochlear’s global target to achieve net zero carbon emissions in its operations by 2030, the manufacturing site is also powered by 100% renewable energy. 

In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, Cochlear provided more than 40,000 hearing implants to adults and children around the world. 

The number of children in Malaysia who could benefit from a hear- ing implant may be set to rise. By 2024, the Malaysian government aims to implement universal newborn hearing screening in 95% of public and private hospitals to identify children and determine who could benefit from an assistive hearing device. Currently, only 65% of hospitals in Malaysia offer this service, according to the Mida statement. 

Cochlear’s major products include cochlear implant systems, bone conduction systems, acoustic implants, bone-anchored prosthetics and wireless accessories including wireless mini microphone, wireless phone clip and wireless TV streamer. 

It has manufacturing- ing facilities and regional distribution centres in North America and Europe. The company conducts its operations in the Ameri- cas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Europe. TMR 

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition