KUALA LUMPUR: Guan Chong Bhd, which is the world’s fourth largest cocoa grinder, has earmarked RM120mil for its new cocoa ingredients plant in Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in the south coast of West Africa.
It said the capex for the financial year ending Dec 31,2020 is part of the group's initiatives to grow its position in the global markets as a key industry player, in addition to enhancing efficiency and sustainability.
At its AGM on Friday, group managing director Brandon Tay Hoe Lian said the expansion remains in progress despite uncertainties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He added the growth was supported by resilient and long-term growth in global consumption of cocoa ingredients.
“Despite the moderated demand of chocolate currently due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the long-term demand and prospects remain stable.
“We are therefore confident of our expansions contributing to a stronger footing in the coming years, to be supported by enlarged capacity, expanded sales channels and improved competitiveness.
“While we foresee challenges remaining in the near-term, going forward, we will focus on optimising our production process, as well as build our markets through our expansions into Europe and Cote D’Ivoire, ” Tay said.
The new plant will expand the group’s cocoa grinding capacity to 310,000 metric tonnes (MT) per year, compared to 250,000 MT per year currently.
Tay expected the expansion in Cote D'Ivoire would enable Guan Chong to be closer to a key raw material source, easier access to the key European consumer market, and provide the group with significant cost savings.
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