Bioeconomy Corporation senior vice-president of BioIndustrial, Zainal Azman Abu Kassim, said the ground-breaking ceremony for the Verde Palm Plant will take place on July 30, 2017.

ASTANA: The Malaysian Bioeconomy Development Corporation (Bioeconomy Corporation) announced that Malaysia will be home to the world's first

bio-based chemical manufacturing plant by 2019.

Bioeconomy Corporation senior vice-president of BioIndustrial, Zainal Azman Abu Kassim, said the ground-breaking ceremony for the Verde Palm Plant will take place on July 30, 2017.

"The construction of the plant on 20,000 square feet of land in Johor Baru will take between 18 and 24 months," he said at a press conference at the Astana Expo 2017 here today.

The Verde Palm Plant will use palm oil to produce 10,000 metric tonnes of Dodecanedioic Acid (diacid) per year.

Diacid, which is a renewable bio-based chemical used in automotive parts and toothbrush bristles, to cosmetics and fragrances, will be an alternative to typical petroleum-derived chemicals, Zainal said.

He added that the Verde Palm Plant will be proof that Malaysia is ready to become one of the world’s leading bioeconomic nations, and that it is an important milestone for the country as bioeconomy plays a key role in Malaysia's aspiration to become a high-income, developed nation by 2020.

The plant is a joint-venture project between Sime Darby Bhd and Verdezyne Inc, a United States-based industrial biotechnology company.

Sime Darby, via its plantation unit, Sime Darby Plantations Bhd, acquired a 30 per cent stake in Verdezyne for US$30 million during the then-US President Barack Obama's visit to Malaysia in 2014.

Verdezyne is a bio-nexus status company under the Bioeconomy Corporation