KUALA LUMPUR: GUAN CHONG BHD is investing in new cocoa processing plant in Cote d'Ivoire, the group's first plant in Africa, as its seeks to boost production capacity.
The new plant is estimated to cost between €50mil-€60mil over the next 18 months to build.
"The new plant is expected to be commissioned and operational by the first quarter of 2021," the company said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today.
The new plant will increase Guan Chong's production capacity by 60,000 metric tonnes (mt) per annum. Guan Chong currently has a combined grinding capacity of 250,000mt per annum, with 130,000mt from its two factories in Pasir Gudang, Johor, and another 120,000mt from its plant in Batam, Indonesia.
The new plant in Cote d'Ivoire will allow the company to expand its market presence and strengthen its competitive advantage in European market.
"In addition, the new plant will be processing cocoa beans directly sourced from within Côte d'Ivoire, being one the world’s largest cocoa beans producers, which will in turn enable the company to achieve savings in freight / transportation costs," it said.
Guang Chong said the investment in the new plant is expected be funded via internally-generated funds, bank borrowings, proceeds from the private placement exercise (if implemented) and/or combination of the above.