TAIPING: The International Trade and Industry Ministry has approved the setting up of a magnesium smelting plant at the Kamunting Industrial Estate here with a total investment of about RM600mil.
Its Deputy Minister, Datuk Seri Kerk Choo Teng, said a group of American investors were behind the project.
“They are now looking for a local partner before embarking on the project which is scheduled to begin this year,” he told reporters at a Chinese New Year open house organised by Taiping Gerakan division here yesterday.
Kerk, who is also MP for Taiping and Gerakan deputy president, said a 40ha site had been identified at the industrial estate for the purpose.
He said raw magnesium would also be sourced locally.
“The plant will produce magnesium ingots and 70% will be exported,” he said.
He said magnesium was widely used in the metal industry.
“It is lighter but harder than aluminium and it is usually mixed with other alloys,” he said.
Kerk said the plant would be a catalyst for a host of downstream activities, benefiting local entrepreneurs apart from creating jobs.
Responding to a question, he said the plant would conform to internationally-recognised environmental protection standards.
On the proposed RM7.5bil aluminium smelting plant in Manjung which would turn Perak into the second biggest aluminium producer in Asia after China, Kerk said the Perak Government had sent a team of officials to visit the plant in China last year.
He said the Manjung plant would adhere to strict Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements.
The plant, to be set up on an 800ha site, will be able to produce one million metric tonnes of aluminium per year and under the arrangement, the Perak Government provided the land for the Chinese investors while Deutsche Bank would gave out the loans.