There are currently 832 projects implemented in the industry, with investments of RM62.4 billion and employing 75,127 workers. The Malaysian iron and steel sub-sector in particular has the potential to generate up to 6.5 per cent of GDP growth, and provide up to 225,000 job opportunities in 2020.
Malaysian companies in the basic metal products industry are active in upstream, midstream, and downstream activities, and produce both flat and long products.
- Flat products (e.g. slabs, hot rolled and cold rolled coils, and coated steel products) are used as intermediate raw materials for downstream applications in the sectors of E&E, automotive parts and components, oil and gas, furniture, machinery and equipment and fabricated products.
- Long products (e.g. billets, blooms and rebar) are primarily used in the construction and civil engineering industry.
Investors can thus propose projects that further expand and diversify into the production of flat products to support other higher end manufacturing industries and sub-sectors, such as electrical and electronic products, aerospace, automotive, special-grade packaging, machinery and medical devices.
The iron and steel products sub-sector in Malaysia is currently moving towards Industry 4.0; a crucial step towards sustaining the sub-sector and remaining competitive in the long term. Both upstream and downstream processes are switching over to smart manufacturing, using the latest state-of-the-art technologies.
With the spread of the Industrialised Building System (IBS) in the construction industry, there are opportunities for steel producers to upgrade their technologies and produce new lightweight products, particularly for steel frame buildings, roof trusses, and formwork systems.
The Malaysian ferrous ecosystem is a mature one, with many companies that have ventured into the production of ferrous metals. There is significantly more room for growth with regards to the non-ferrous metals ecosystem, as there are only a few companies currently active in it.
In 2017, there were 15 projects approved involving the manufacture of basic metal products with investments of RM183.2 million. Two thirds of these projects were expansion / diversification projects involving investments worth RM133.5 million, while the other five were new projects with investments of RM49.7 million.
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