The integrated facility is contributing to Malaysia’s US dollar currency reserves by generating annual revenue of RM1.5 billion with 95 per cent exports, buying major raw materials from local manufacturers, and employing more than 500 local employees mostly knowledge based and skilled professionals. (Pic from Arkema’s website)

KUALA LUMPUR: France's Arkema and South Korea's CJ CheilJedang (CJ) have announced an additional investment of RM1.2 billion to expand their bio-chemistry platform at Kerteh Biopolymer Park (KBP), barely three years after its startup in 2015.

Located on a 70-hectare land in KBP, Terengganu, CJ-Arkema’s bio chemistry platform – the first world scale bio-methionine plant – will double its capacity following the additional investment.

“The total accumulated investment, including the initial phase of RM2.1 billion, is now RM 3.3 billion,” they said in a statement.

In June 2015, CJ-Arkema opened the plant in Malaysia for the production of methyl mercaptan, a synthesis intermediate for animal feed, as well as dimethyl disulfide.

The integrated facility is contributing to Malaysia’s US dollar currency reserves by generating annual revenue of RM1.5 billion with 95 per cent exports, buying major raw materials from local manufacturers, and employing more than 500 local employees mostly knowledge based and skilled professionals.

In the longer term, the integrated facility is expected to contribute significantly to the gross national income (GNI) and to produce 2,500 green-jobs for Malaysia by 2020, the statement added.

This includes more than 500 professionals employed by Arkema and CJ, of which 60 per cent are high-level technical and knowledge workers such as microbiologists, chemists, engineers and biotechnologists.

The integrated facility is leveraging on the supply of existing local raw materials, services and facilities in Kerteh, which translate into the creation of new economic activity and business for local suppliers and service providers such as Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), Kerteh Terminal, Kuantan Port, Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and other service providers.

The integrated facility also embarks in research and development (R&D) to develop local expertise in niche areas such as chemical engineering and industrial biotechnology, and provide opportunity for collaborations with local universities and research institutions to become centres of excellence in biotechnology.

The facility is jointly promoted by Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and Bioeconomy Development Corp and facilitated by Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Ministry of Science Technology & Innovation (MOSTI), and French and Korean embassies.

The expanded RM3.3 billion integrated manufacturing facility in KBP confirms its status as the single largest investment in Malaysia’s biotechnology sector to date, the statement said.

The project has fulfilled its commitment of accumulated investment of RM3 billion over a period of 10 years.

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