Eastman Chemical Company's decision to build a 30,000-tonne per year copolyester plastics plant in Pahang, Malaysia was based on a two-year study of 11 sites in four countries in South-East Asia. Fourteen factors were evaluated, including access to markets in the region, access to competitively priced raw materials, availability of a capable workforce, a pro-business environment, and logistics. Overall, the Gebeng Industrial Estate near Kuantan offered the best combination of qualities and a good bridge to Asia for Eastman's first wholly-owned greenfield plant in the region.
A successful start-up ahead of schedule and within budget has given Eastman Chemical Malaysia a jumpstart in the Asia Pacific copolyesters market with a 30% growth during the first year of operation. We showed profitability just six months after commencement of production and have been hailed within Eastman as a model for other start-up operations around the world.
Our highly skilled, professional and dedicated Malaysian workforce has exceeded our already high expectations. This, combined with pro-business federal and state governments, quality infrastructure and logistics network make Malaysia an outstanding investment destination.
Since May 1998, Eastman Chemical Malaysia has chalked up many achievements, including being awarded the ISO 9002 certification with zero non-conformance. Eastman's tagline for Spectar and Eastar copolyester, "Imagine the Possibilities", with reference to the versatility of the raw materials produced at our Malaysian plant, exemplify the spirit of "Malaysia Boleh!" (Malaysia can do it!) evident in every sphere of Malaysian life.