M'sian Phosphate Additives RM1.9b plant to start 2018

KUCHING: Malaysian Phosphate Additives (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd’s (MPAS) proposed RM1.9bil phosphate additives plant in Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu, is expected to be commissioned in 2018.

Chairman Datuk Syed Ahmad Alwee Alsree said the project, which would be South-East Asia’s largest integrated phosphate additives complex, would house nine different plants that would produce food, fertiliser and halal feed phosphates.

“The proposed plant is targeted for completion in phases from mid-to-end 2018,” he said at the signing of a power purchase agreement between MPAS and Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB). SEB will supply 150MW to power the plant.

The signatories for the agreement were SEB group chief executive officer Datuk Torstein Dale Sjotveit and MPAS managing director Lim Lee Wan. Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem witnessed the event.

Malaysian Phosphate Additives Sdn Bhd (via Malaysian Phosphate Ventures Sdn Bhd) and Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (through wholly-owned subisidary Samalaju Industries Sdn Bhd) each own a 40% stake in MPAS. The remaining 20% equity is held by Arif Enigma Sdn Bhd, an associate of Tradewinds Plantations group.

Syed Ahmad said on full operation, the plant would produce 500,000 tonnes per annum of phosphate products, ranging from food grade, animal feed and fertilser phosphates, 900,000 tonnes per annum of coke and 100,000 tonnes per annum of ammonia.

Food phosphate is used mainly in crude palm oil refining and in the production of various types of food and beverages, cola fizzy drinks, food source for cakes and noodles while fertiliser phosphate is used in the production of compound fertiliser, nitrogen phosphorous potassium. Halal feed phosphate is used to replace big bones of animals in animal feed.

Syed Ahmad said the technology for the project was developed by Malaysian chemical engineers under the auspices of the Malaysian Technology Development Corp, and that all MPAS shareholders were Malaysian entities.

The project, he said, would strengthen the national food security system.

MPAS’s annual average revenue is estimated at RM2.9bil of which over 80% would be from export income. The plant will provide jobs to some 1,200 people, including engineers and project supervisors.

“This project has a huge downstream potential and will be able to spawn a cluster of no less than 20 different downstream industries for small and medium enterprises,” he said.

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