Wednesday, 18 June 2008

BLD Plantation to develop 6,000ha in Sarawak

Wednesday June 18, 2008 The Star Online, Malaysia

BLD Plantation to develop 6,000ha in Sarawak


BLD Plantation Bhd will invest some RM110mil to develop 6,000ha of new oil palm plantations in Sarawak in the next three years.

Executive chairman Datuk Henry Lau Lee Kong said the company would be aggressive in its new planting programme as more than half of its 53,000ha land bank had not be developed.

He said it was timely to increase the planted area as prices of crude palm oil (CPO) had been good. The group currently has about 23,000ha planted with oil palm, with half of the plantations already producing fresh fruit bunches (FFBs).

“In three years, another 6,300ha of matured planted areas will be added,” Lau told StarBiz after the company AGM yesterday.

Last year, the group’s FFB production increased 3.6% to 211,000 tonnes. This is expected to grow to 266,000 tonnes this year, 290,000 tonnes next year and 320,000 tonnes in 2010.

Lau said expanding the group’s planted hectarage would also ensure an increasing supply of related products to feed its palm oil mill, refinery and kernel crushing plant.

Datuk Henry Lau Lee Kong
Wholly-owned subsidiary Kirana Palm Oil Refinery Sdn Bhd has invested more than RM100mil in a refinery and a dry fractionation plant in Bintulu. Both plants are now on trial production and are expected to begin commercial production next month.

The refinery, which has a processing capacity of about 1,200 tonnes of CPO a day, is now producing refined bleached and deodorised palm oil, palm olein, palm stearins and palm fatty acids distillate.

The kernel crushing plant has a daily capacity of 300 tonnes. Its products include crude palm kernel oil and palm kernel expeller.

BLD Plantation would continue to look out for good plantation land locally, Lau said, adding, however, that it had no plans to expand its plantation business to Indonesia yet.

“The promotions on use of biofuels by the European and other governments, as well as the recent import duties cut in India on edible oils to curb inflation, augur well for the palm oil industry.

“In view of the tighter supply of global oils and fats and the price volatility of CPO, it is expected that the outlook for the industry will remain positive,” he added.

For the year ended Dec 31, 2007 (FY07), group revenue rose 13% to a record RM152mil from RM134mil in FY06.

Net profit more than doubled to RM37.8mil in FY07 from RM16.9mil previously.