German-based H&R to invest RM200mil in speciality plant in Perak

KUALA LUMPUR: H&R GmbH & Co KGaA, a leading global sustainable refiner and marketer of speciality plasticisers, extender oils, softeners and waxes headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, is investing RM200 million in a speciality manufacturing plant in Lumut, Perak.

The investment plan was announced during a meeting between H&R and the Trade and Investment Mission (TIM) to Germany delegation led by the Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

It said the construction of the facility is planned to kickstart by March 2022 followed by the commencement of production in early 2024.

"The project will tentatively be carried out in three phases, with a designed capacity of 150,000 tons per annum,” it said in a statement today.

It said Phase I and Phase II would be dedicated to the production of speciality plasticisers, white oils and wax emulsions from mineral, synthetic and renewable resources while Phase III would focus on the production of renewables through uniquely designed synthesising technologies.

H&R said the company would be establishing a new entity, H&R Chempharm Asia Sdn Bhd, to focus on the production of environmentally friendly plasticisers for tyre and rubber applications as well as technical and medicinal white oils for food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and polymer applications with the new introduction of bio-based products.

"This investment is anticipated to create 70 new jobs in Malaysia,” it said.

H&R said apart from H&R Chempharm Asia Sdn Bhd, it has two existing facilities in Malaysia, namely H&R Malaysia Sdn Bhd and H&R Malaysia Wax Sdn Bhd in Port Klang and Batu Caves, respectively.

It said these facilities have been in operations since 1990, producing wax speciality emulsions as well as undertaking marketing and distribution activities of various specialty oils and waxes.

Mohamed Azmin said H&R’s investment announcement reflected foreign investors’ confidence in Malaysia’s business environment that remained conducive.

He said the company has indicated clear goals to reduce its dependency on fossil-based feedstock and more towards renewable or hybrid feedstock for more sustainable products and speciality applications to eventually reach carbon neutral operation by 2035.

"This is in line with Malaysia’s commitment to drive reforms in achieving carbon net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.

"This strategic investment will further support and drive Malaysia’s commitment towards environment, social and governance (ESG) values and advancing green growth as outlined in the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP),” he said.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) chief executive officer (CEO) Arham Abdul Rahman said H&R furthering to enhance their venture towards bio-based products in Malaysia is a testament to the country’s well-established chemical industry ecosystem that has been an important catalyst to other industries such as automotive, food, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

"MIDA, through our Project Acceleration and Coordination Unit (PACU) will work closely with H&R to provide end-to-end facilitation in ensuring the smooth implementation of their project in Malaysia,” he said.

H&R CEO and executive board chairman Niels H Hansen said the strategic direction and vision of the Malaysian government for a carbon-neutral economy definitely strengthened the company’s determination to further invest in the country.

"Our investment in Lumut, Perak aims to contribute to a more sustainable growth, focusing on defossilisation,” he said.

He said Malaysia, centrally positioned in Southeast Asia, is a sustainable manufacturing hub with rich resources, in both mineral and renewable feedstock, to serve the ASEAN community.

"As an industry leader in the manufacture and marketing of speciality niche products, we intend to develop a hybrid business model in our project in Lumut to transition production of mineral-based products to renewable specialties with locally sourced feedstock to supply to our global customers who are producing in the region,” he added.

H&R has more than 100 years of experience operating speciality refineries in manufacturing plants around the world. - Bernama
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