Update by the StarBiz Desk
KUCHING: Four plantation companies are teaming up with ASSAR Refinery Services Sdn Bhd and Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corp (STIDC) to develop a RM300mil integrated palm oil downstream complex in Tanjung Manis, Mukah Division in central Sarawak.
The companies are Tradewinds Plantaton Bhd, Rimbunan Hijau group, Multi Maximium Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of Ta Ann Holdings Bhd) and Bintulu Lumber Development Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of BLD Plantations Bhd).
Under the proposed joint-venture project, a palm oil refinery together with a kernel crusher plant would be built.
A letter of intent for the project was signed in Kuching on Wednesday.
The signatories were Tradewinds chairman Datuk Wira Syed Abdul Jabbar, Rimbunan Hijau senior manager (investment) Tiong Hock Chai, Ta Ann group executive chairman Datuk Hamed Sepawi, BLD Plantations managing director Datuk Henry Lau Lee Kong, ASSAR Senari group chief executive officer Syeed Mohd Hussien and STIDC general manager Len Talif Salleh.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud witnessed the signing ceremony.
ASSAR Senari and STIDC signed a separate letter of intent for the master development of the various components of the integrated project on a 46 hectare of land.
Also to be built are a petroleum storage terminal, an oil and gas jetty, and a petrochemical and oleo-chemical park to serve the central region.
The development of other palm oil downstream facilities, like bio-diesel and oleo-chemical plants, is likely to take place later when there is more supply of crude palm oil (CPO) in the central region.
ASSAR group chairman Tan Sri Bujang Mohd Nor said the proposed integrated development project in Tanjung Manis was based on the model of the ASSAR Senari industrial complex in Senari, Kuching.
The Kuching project is expected to be completed in two months’ time.
“When the palm oil refinery is operational in Tanjung Manis, it is expected to save smallholders, commercial plantators and millers millions of ringgit annually in transportation costs,” he added.
Bujang said the CPO and palm kernel in the central region were now transported several hundred kms to Bintulu or Kuching for processing.
He said the proposed 67km Sibu-Tanjung Manis Road was expected to be ready by end 2009.
Tanjung Manis, which has a deep-sea port and houses the country’s largest integrated timber complex, is strategically located and blessed with a natural draft of 11m to 13m to take in vessels up to 15,000 MT deadweight. TWS : [Stock Watch] [News] TAANN : [Stock Watch] [News]
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