BUKIT MERTAJAM: Surgical instruments manufacturer KLS Martin Malaysian Sdn Bhd plans to invest RM100 million over the next five years into its manufacturing plant here. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng the expansion of the company which is headquartered in Germany will create some 500 job opportunities. He said he was informed the expansion setting up a Centre of Excellence (COE) for general surgery or a Research and Development (R&D) centre to serve the industry in Southeast Asia. He said the expansion plans also included the company purchasing land between 1.6ha to 2ha at Batu Kawan or the Penang Science Park in Bukit Minyak. "The company is planning to collaborate with local universities and Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to develop local products by the sixth year of its expansion," he said when attending the opening ceremony of the company's office here. Earlier, Martin Malaysia Sdn Bhd director Datuk Hans Peter Brenner said the decision to invest in Penang was due to the state being a manufacturing hub for the past 40 years. "Penang is the first chose to start with our pilot production plant," he said referring to the company which was founded in 1923.