Tuesday, 28 August 2007

IJM Plantations to boost oil palm estates in Indonesia-New Straits Times, Malaysia

Further evidence, if ever it was needed, of Malaysian companies
hunger for more rainforests in Indonesia.

Do we stand by and watch this happen before our very eyes?
Whilst various international meetings are being held, it is business as
usual for these companies. By the time, if indeed it ever happens, any
internationally binding agreement is ever reached, let alone enforced
on the ground in Indonesia, it will be too late for thousands of orangutans
and countless other species, not forgetting millions irreplaceable of trees.

Sad, so very sad.

IJM Plantations to boost oil palm estates in Indonesia-New Straits Times, Malaysia
By Zaidi Isham Ismail
August 28 2007

IJM Plantations Bhd plans to spend RM250 million over the next five to six years to boost its estates by a quarter in Indonesia and carry out more cultivating activities.

The plantation arm of IJM Corp Bhd, a construction and property group, wants to enlarge its estates to 40,000ha and plant more oil palm trees. It now owns 32,000ha oil palm estates in east Kalimantan, Indonesia.

IJM managing director and chief executive officer Velayuthan Tan Kim Song said the company already has a 4,000ha oil palm nursery which it expects to start producing by the first quarter of next year.

"Indonesia is a good place to expand due to better yields, cheap labour, good logistics, abundant rainfall and good land terrain and close to our home operations in Sabah.

"We would like to acquire new oil palm land in Sabah but there's none available ... prime oil palm land is already scarce," Tan said after the company's annual general meeting in Selangor yesterday.

IJM Plantations is one of the country's smallest planters that is strong in Sabah with almost 30,000ha of estates.

Tan said future prospects for the company look good as crude palm oil (CPO) prices are expected to hover between RM2,000 and RM2,200 a tonne in 2008 due to flood problems in Europe and the US as well as crop failures in South America.

On its plan to build a palm oil-based biodiesel plant, Tan said the plan is still on despite concerns of high CPO prices at the moment. CPO is the feedstock to make biodiesel.

"We look at investment in the long term and biodiesel is still a favourable business to go in," said Tan.

He said the 90,000-tonne-a-year biodiesel plant in Sabah is built on a modular basis, of which the initial 30,000 tonnes will be operational by the second half of 2008. It will be fully operational by 2009.

Tan said IJM Plantations is also keeping its options open on merger and acquisition initiatives.

He added that the company has not set any dividend policy and will pay them out accordingly. It paid a dividend of nine and seven per cent (less 28 per cent tax) in 2006 and 2005 respectively.


Sarawak Plantation to expand palm oil acreage in Kalimantan

August 28 2007


SARAWAK Plantation Bhd, a main board plantation company, plans to secure between 30,000 and 50,000 hectares in Kalimantan, Indonesia, in the next three years to expand its palm oil acreage.

The company, which has about 27,000ha, is already in talks with the Indonesian government.

“We will identify more land outside and inside Sarawak to expand our palm oil plantations,” group managing director, Mohamad Bolhair Reduan, told reporters after the company’s listing on Bursa Malaysia today.

Mohamad Bolhair said the identified land in Kalimantan was suitable for palm oil plantations.

Sarawak Plantation is mainly involved in developing, cultivating and managing oil palm plantation on a large scale and milling of fresh fruit bunches.

The company’s shares opened at RM3.40 for a premium of 40 sen over its offer price of RM3.00 with 6,913 lots traded. It eased to RM3.14 after more than an hour of trade.

“We hit RM3.40 at the opening bell and it then consolidated. I think it is a good start. We are not worried about the immediate term but more concern about the long-term development of the price,” he said.

The company was incorporated on October 28, 1997 as the vehicle company for the privatisation of Sarawak Land Development Board’s assets.

Upon listing, the Sarawak State Government owns 38 per cent in the company through State Financial Secretary Inc, Yayasan Sarawak, Yayasan Budaya Melayu Sarawak and Dayak Cultural Foundation.

Another substantial shareholder is Cermat Ceria Sdn Bhd, which owns 37 per cent.

The company registered RM142 million in revenue and RM63 million in net profit last year. — Bernama