Work on MPAS’ RM2.2bil phosphate complex to start in 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Phosphates Additive (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd (MPAS) has signed an engineering design, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with a consortium of contractors from China to build a RM2.2bil integrated phosphate complex in Sarawak. 

The project, slated for the Samalaju Industrial Park in Bintulu, is expected to get off the ground in the first quarter of 2018 and set for completion at end-2018, MPAS managing director Lim Lee Wan said. 

The project, which will be built on a 141.63ha site, will be financed 70% from loans and the rest from shareholders (equity),” he told reporters following the signing ceremony of the EPC contract in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. 

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Madius Tangau. 

MPAS is a 100% Malaysian joint venture company between Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd’s subsidiary, Samalaju Industries Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Phosphate Venture Sdn Bhd, and Tradewinds Plantation Bhd’s subsidiary Arif Enigma Sdn Bhd. 

Khazanah National Bhd’s subsidiary, Malaysian Technology Development Corp (MTDC), holds a 40% equity stake in MPAS. 

Lim said MPAS had a phosphate plant on a 2.02ha site at the Lumut Port, which produces about 30,000 tonne of phosphates a year. 

The new plant in Bintulu will have an annual capacity of 500,000 tonne of food, feed and fertiliser phosphates, making it the largest in South-East Asia, he said, adding that it would also produce 100,000 tonne of ammonia and 900,000 tonne of coke. 

“Phospates are essential human, animal and plant growth ingredients. Our products are feed stocks for the manufacture of food salts, animals and fertilisers, an integral part of food supply chains. 

“The project will ensure the availability, affordability, competitiveness and sustainability of the agrofood industry in the country,” he said. 

In his speech, Madius said the Bintulu phosphate complex would enable Malaysia to reduce imports of phosphate and expand the production of animal feed and fertilisers. 

He said the plant would create 1,200 jobs once it begin operations, while other supporting businesses and industries would also have spillover effects such as ports and logistics. 

Citing a Frost & Sullivan report, he said the project total economic contribution is estimated at RM12.9bil, of which RM1.1bil would be tax revenue while the balance to gross national income. 

Madius said the project would also create RM4.7bil in terms of domestic direct investment and foreign direct investment. 

He said the project also signified the success of commercialisation of research and development by MPAS, which was initially funded by MTDC and now evolved into a multi-billion ringgit company. - Bernama

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