A customer centre was inaugurated on Wednesday at Crane Currency's Malta plant to showcase the currency printer's work to its clients.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who unveiled a commemorative plaque, hailed the company’s achievements, saying that in just 53 weeks, not only was the facility up and running but it had “exceeded expectations”.

Dr Muscat said that although the company had initially envisioned employing some 200 people, this number had already shot up to 350 workers.

He insisted that each job with the currency printer was a “quality job”, with employees enjoying not only good wages but also good career prospects.

Crane Currency, he said, was the biggest investment the island had in 30 years.

The company started production in 2017, printing its one billionth banknote at its Malta facility 10 months later.

Malta Enterprise has financed the €27 million tailor-made factory in Ħal Far and the government agreed to guarantee most of the loans needed by Crane to buy its machinery and plant equipment.

Malta Enterprise further agreed to subsidise interest rates on loans acquired from Bank of Valletta.

The facility had made headlines before opening its doors after it emerged that the company of Prime Minister chief of staff, Keith Schembri, would be servicing the Crane Currency machines. When announcing the deal, Dr Muscat had described his top aide as being the “catalyst in making sure things got done”.

While Dr Muscat had said that there was no conflict of interest involving Mr Schembri,  the chief of staff later admitted in a statement that his company “may” be tasked with servicing the Komori machines if Crane Currency decided to buy them, “as had been the case with the other company in the currency industry that operates in Malta”.

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