JOHOR BARU: Bitumen Bale Sdn Bhd is expanding its business by setting up its first bitubale packaging plant in the Pelepas Freezone.
Bitumen Bale managing director Gordon W Thomas said it was the right time for expansion and the Pelepas Freezone was the perfect choice for the Bitubale plant due to its strategic location.
"It is located near the Tanjung Pelepas Port (PTP) and it will enable us to import and export bitumen more efficiently.
"We are also excited that we are able to make it a reality in such a short time," he said adding that, he was grateful for the cooperation shown by many quarters especially PTP and the state government.
Thomas said the plant aims to package 800 metric tonnes of bitubale per day and he would expect a turnover of US20mil per year.
"We take valuation on the packaging and not the product itself.
"We have been involved in refineries in the past but now we are focusing on the packaging of bitumen," he said.
He explained that the company planned to set up at least 100 similar plants worldwide in the next 10 years.
"So far we have funds approved for nine plants.
"We are now working on another plant in Thailand while Mongolia, South Africa, Kazakhstan and Mexico have been identified as possible locations," he said after the launching of the Bitubale plant here on Monday.
Thomas said the company was also planning to build a manufacturing plant somewhere near the newly launched plant and a research and development centre.
He said that the company planned to use local specialised workers for the research and development centre.
"Hopefully with the help of the state government we could expand much faster.
"We feel that Iskandar (Iskandar development Region) is an exciting concept," he said.
Bitumen Bale, a subsidiary of Eastern Petroleum, is involved in petroleum services and has two refineries in Melaka and Terengganu.
The company also has a research and development centre in Melaka with, sales offices in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Dubai.