SPH will spend $48m to improve second printing plant - Jan 10, 2007 (ST)

BackJan 10, 2007

The Straits Times / The Business Times News On SPH

SPH will spend $48m to improve second printing plant

By Lee Su Shyan
Jan 10, 2007
The Straits Times

SINGAPORE Press Holdings (SPH) is spending $48 million to beef up its second printing facility, located at Genting Lane, to better serve readers and advertisers.

The new facility will also act as a backup in the event that something goes wrong at the main printing facility located at Print Centre in Jurong.

A new pressline will replace the two existing presses which are more than 20 years old.

Set to be ready by the first quarter of next year, the new pressline's full-colour capacity will bring it in line with the Jurong facility, which prints all of SPH's major newspapers. As well, working at twice the speed of the old presses, newspapers will be produced faster and can reach readers earlier.

Currently, the presses at Media Centre in Genting Lane print non-SPH newspapers such as Asahi Shimbun under commercial arrangements.

At the ceremony marking the award of the contracts for the presses, SPH chief executive Alan Chan said: 'We are conservative in acquiring only proven technology and equipment with proven track records in the field.

' On the other hand, we are aggressive in the use of technology, we will go to great lengths to exploit the maximum capabilities of the equipment and technology we have acquired.'

Mr Robin Hu, executive vice-president for SPH's Chinese newspapers division and newspaper services division, added that the investment was 'very important for us to meet the growing demands of our existing commercial customers'.

As well, 'in the event anything were to happen that renders our Jurong facility affected, we have a backup press. Our whole newspaper business can continue unaffected...we believe our readers and shareholders will be happy to know that'.

A third reason is that 'the additional capacity will kick in and become useful to support the...growth of our existing line of products...and the possible introduction of new products in the future'.

The printing pressline is from Germany's MAN Roland and comes with a capacity of printing 64 full-colour broadsheet pages. The prepress system is from the United States' Eastman Kodak.

The post-press system - which is the conveying, stacking and bundling lines - and which can handle up to 90,000 copies an hour is being supplied by Sweden's Idab Wamac.

SPH will be funding the purchase from internal resources.