INS unit investing RM75mil in biotech RD centre


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 21 May 2003

BY SABRY TAHIR IN DENGKIL

INS Holdings Bhd's joint-venture company, INS Zhen-Ao Biotech Corp Sdn Bhd, will invest RM75mil to set up a research and development (R&D) centre in BioValley Malaysia. 

INS Holdings chief executive officer Datuk Yeat Sew Chuong said the proposed facility was slated for completion before the end of next year. 

“We have been closely working with the Science, Technology and Environment Ministry to ensure the project is on schedule,'' he said after the BioValley ground-breaking ceremony in Dengkil yesterday. 

INS Zhen-Ao and a Dutch-Malaysian joint-venture company Inproser Bhd were the first two companies to sign up with the ministry to initiate biotechnological research and development activities in BioValley. 

Yeat said INS had teamed up with China-based Dalian Zhen-Ao Bioengineering Co Ltd last April for the 51:49 joint venture to tap each other's marketing networks and to promote their products through co-branding. 

The joint venture would help INS Holdings penetrate the large Chinese market and also allow INS Zhen- Ao to venture into the Asean countries, he added. 

INS Holdings produces bio-fertiliser, wheatgrass tea, bio-dynamic oil and mineral water. It has five factories and an R&D centre for tissue and lingzhi mushroom culture. 

Yeat said the company, which also owns an R&D centre for tissue and lingzhi culture and a mineral water extraction and bottling plant, was also expected to move some of its plants into BioValley before 2004.  

Meanwhile, Mesdaq market-bound Inproser is embarking on the third phase of its development in enzymatic treatment of palm kernel waste products. 

Inproser group president and chief executive officer Henri ten Have said he had signed for seven acres at BioValley to start the In’novase project, to be undertaken by subsidiary In'novase Sdn Bhd. 

In'novase is expected to commence operations next year, when the facilities at BioValley are ready. 

The Inproser Group is currently involved in a project using palm kernel for chicken feed.  

Meanwhile, to initiate activities at BioValley, which will include a wide spectrum of biotechnology-related activities such as drug research and bioprocesses operating on different platform technologies, the Government has allocated a RM100mil budget to set up three institutes to spearhead the biotechnology industry in the country. 

These institutes would be set up at the 808ha BioValley Malaysia site, a former tin-mining area south of Cyberjaya. The Agro-Biotechnology Institute, the Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Institute and the Genomic and Molecular Biology Institute would occupy 80.8ha.  

BioValley is expected to spearhead the growth of the biotech industry in Malaysia. Biotechnology is an integral part of the country's vision to become a developed nation by 2020. 

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