Sabah's first sugar factory, aquaculture project to create 1,000 direct job opportunities

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s first sugar refinery factory and an aquaculture project are set to take off in a year.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) totalling RM235mil between the Sawit Kinabalu Group and two domestic investors here on Monday (April 19).

The companies involved were Borneo Lestari Sdn Bhd, owned by two Sabahan businessmen, and Selangor-based Admuda Sugar Sdn Bhd.

Both projects were investment initiatives under the five-year Halatuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) plan.

Hajiji, who is also chairman of the Sawit Kinabalu Group, said the Halatuju SMJ, launched last month, has started to bear fruit.

He said the signing of the MoU reflected good collaboration by the parties involved and he was confident that the Sawit Kinabalu Group will be able to maintain its position as a progressive state GLC.

Sawit Kinabalu Group will be partnering with Admuda Sugar to set up a sugar refinery plant in Kimanis, Papar and a barramundi (siakap) breeding aquaculture project with Borneo Lestari at Langkon, Kota Marudu.

Admuda Sugar's investment is estimated to be worth RM150mil that would be developed on 32ha (79 acres) of land owned by Sawit Kinabalu Group in Kimanis.

The sugar refinery plant, the first in Sabah, will be producing sugar under the brand Gula Kinabalu. It is expected to be operational in a year's time.

Borneo Lestari is expected to put in a total investment of RM85mil in the four-phased aquaculture project on 14ha (35 acres) of land belonging to Sawit Kinabalu Group in Langkon.

Using the Recirculating Aquaculture System, the project is capable of producing a minimum 1,000 tonnes of barramundi annually, to a maximum of 1,250 tonnes.

Both projects are expected to create a total of 1,000 direct job opportunities and another 1,000 indirect jobs.

Hajiji said under the SMJ development blueprint, the state government was making it easier for Sabah to attract more domestic and foreign investors.

Signing for Sawit Kinabalu Group was its managing director Bacho Jansie, while Admuda Sugar was represented by its director Datuk Seri Raja Sulaiman Raja Shariff and Borneo Lestari by its director Irwin Wong.

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