Cargill plans US$50m refinery and specialty fats plant

US AGRIBUSINESS giant Cargill is investing US$50 million (RM165.5 million) in another palm oil refinery and specialty fats plant in Port Klang.

Managing director Thomas Polhill said construction is expected to be completed by mid-2011. It will provide 100 skilled job opportunities to Malaysians.

The new refinery at the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) will double Cargill's existing specialty fats production capabilities and increase overall refining capacity in Peninsular Malaysia to 950,000 tonnes annually.

"As the anchor tenant in PKFZ's Halal Park, our investment is aligned with the Malaysian government's drive to make Malaysia a halal food hub," he said.

Cargill is one of Malaysia's major palm oil exporter. Its home country, the US, is one of the key palm oil shipment destinations in view of the vegetable oil being a healthy ingredient in making 'no trans fat' confectionery, cookies and snack foods. Asked on the prospects of palm oil shipment to the US this year, he replied "it remains unchanged".

Polhill represented Cargill in the signing of a 30-year lease with Port Klang Authority, the owner of PKFZ. Cargill is leasing 8ha at RM1.80 per square foot annually. Also present were Port Klang Authority and PKFZ Chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

Lee then said PKFZ has applied to the Economic Planning Unit and Petronas for the supply of piped natural gas.

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