[WATCH] Currency printer Crane opens Malta business 53 weeks after announcing investment

New Hal Far currency printing plant to employ 300 people • Prime Minister says government approved Crane Currency takeover by another US company

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was given a tour of the new Crane Currency security printing plant at Hal Far
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was given a tour of the new Crane Currency security printing plant at Hal Far
Currency printer Crane opens Malta business 53 weeks after announcing investment

Crane Currency is the newest addition to Malta’s manufacturing sector after its state-of-the-art Hal Far plant was formally opened by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

The brand new facility became operational just 53 weeks after US-based Crane Currency announced its investment, making it the second global security printing firm to operate from Malta. The other company, De La Rue, has had a long standing relationship with Malta.

When opening the Hal Far plant, the Prime Minister said the investment by Crane was creating 300 quality jobs. “Beyond the photos and celebrations, with a capital investment of €100 million, this is the true legacy of this project,” Muscat said, at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Machines at the state-of-the-art plant operated by Crane Currency
Machines at the state-of-the-art plant operated by Crane Currency

Muscat said this investment was testimony to the solid relationship Malta enjoyed with the US.

The Crane Currency investment was dogged by controversy when it transpired that a company belonging to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, would benefit from the servicing agreement for the machines used by Crane.

Muscat had praised Schembri for being instrumental in talks to convince Crane to invest in Malta.

Controversy followed when it transpired that Crane were given favourable terms by Malta Enterprise to set up shop in Hal Far. This favourable arrangement was deemed to be an attraction when Crane Currency was bought by another American firm, Crane Co. last December.

Referring to the takeover, Muscat said the government welcomed the move. He said government had been informed and approved the new ownership.

The Crane Currency plant will employ 300 people
The Crane Currency plant will employ 300 people

US ambassador to Malta, Kathleen Hill, said that US companies have played, and will continue to play an important part in Malta's economic success.

“We see Malta as an extremely important destination for US businesses, also thanks to its status as a gateway to the EU,” she said. Hill said the US would also like to see Maltese businesses moving to the US.

Anne Marie Watson, president at Crane Currency, said 53 weeks after the company first announced the new Malta plant, the vision was already a reality.

“But our vision today sees work continuing on site, as we strive to make this a destination for central banks from across the world,” she said.

In September, the company plans to invite central bank governors to Malta to promote its cutting-edge technology and processes.

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