Thursday June 14, 2012
RM7bil project in Kertih
By FARIK ZOLKEPLI
Asiaís largest bio-refinery complex to be fully operational by 2014
KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu is set to house Asia's largest bio-refinery complex at the Kertih Biopolymer Park.
The project is expected to attract about RM7bil investments.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said announced that the project was a strategic collaboration between the state government, Malaysian Biotechnology Corp (BiotechCorp) and the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC).
“The complex is slated to be fully operational by 2014. It will utilise renewable energy from biomass as opposed to natural gas.
“The total project is expected to generate a cumulative gross national income of RM20.4bil by 2020 and produce 2,500 green-jobs for Malaysia,” he told a press conference after witnessing the signing of a strategic collaboration agreement between the three entities here yesterday.
Ahmad said the complex would be a major landmark as it was the first in Malaysia to utilise cellulosic feedstock to produce bioderivatives such as advanced carbohydrates, biochemical, biomaterial, biofertiliser and active feed ingredient.
“Terengganu is rapidly becoming recognised as the state that attracts big bio-businesses. The establishment of the complex is ideal for attracting other bio-product technologies that will benefit the local people,” he said.
Ahmad said the project, covering an area of 1,000ha, was expected to attract foreign direct investments amounting to RM6.8bil.
“The construction will begin in July this year and operations will commence early 2014.
“The state government has allocated RM170mil to prepare the infrastructure for the project as we believe it will benefit all Malaysians,” he said.
He added that 30,000ha had been dedicated to feedstock plantations, which would produce 10.5 million tonnes of wood chips annually.
BiotechCorp chief executive officer Datuk Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal said the company was working with ECERDC in engaging several global industry biotechnology players, especially from the United States, Europe and Japan, to set-up their bio-based chemical manufacturing facility in Kertih Biopolymer Park.
“We are confident the project will be able to cater to the global market,” he said.
ECERDC chief executive officer Datuk Jebasingam Issace John said the East Coast Economic Region had been able to attract more than RM30bil in investment.
“This latest project will definitely bring more investments into the economic region,” he said.