News & Events

Massive interest in POIC

KOTA KINABALU, Thurs. (Jan 19) -- The government is giving special concession for the development of the palm oil industrial cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu as investors’ interest grew.

At a special meeting in the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities in Putrajaya last week, officials of POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd, the developer of the cluster, were told that, among other things, requirements for the setting up of palm oil refineries within POIC Lahad Datu will be less restrictive. The details are being worked out.

POIC Chairman Datuk Ewon Ebin, who is also State Minister of Industrial Development, headed the Sabah delegation at the crucial meeting, as well as a series of visits to companies which have expressed interest and intent in investing in the Lahad Datu POIC.

“The people we visited are those who have expressed interest in coming to Lahad Datu. We are pleased that their keenness is now intensified in the wake of the new concessions being granted to us,” he said. “We expect to firm up sale of land to them once we finalized our sub-division and land price next month.”

Among the companies visited were Pan-Century Oleochemical Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary company of an Indian conglomerate, PGEO Group Sdn Bhd, J.C. Chang (Pte) Ltd and Felda Bulkers Johor Sdn Bhd.

Ewon said the interest of the companies was reflected by the fact that top decision makers were present at all the meetings, from Jan 12-17.

The Sabah delegation met Pan-Century’s President/CEO Mr Dilip Gaur, PGEO’s Managing Director Mr Yee Chek Toong, J.C. Chang’s Executive Director Mr Shien Chang and Felda Bulkers’ CEO Mr Wee Fang Peng.

POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd, formed in May 2005, has a 10-year master plan to develop up to 3,000 acres of land just outside Lahad Datu Town into Malaysia’s only palm oil industrial cluster.

It is envisaged that the cluster will transform Lahad Datu, and will make this town in southeastern Sabah into a palm oil logistic and shipping hub, as well as becoming Malaysian’s fourth palm oil futures delivery port after Pasir Gudang (Johor), Port Klang (Selangor) and Butterworth (Penang).

Last December, POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd signed a framework agreement for a joint-venture with a Korean and a Malaysian-based Chinese company for the setting up of a 600,000 tonner per year biodiesel plant in Lahad Datu.

Ewon, who is taking a personal interest in the meetings with officials and potential investors, said that based on the feedback he gathered, investors’ interest is “massive”.

“Many are keen to sign up immediately … and we have since have to think hard about how fast we need to develop to meet their (investors’) demand especially in the area of infrastructure, particularly the port,” he added.

Responding to the potential investors’ concern about the long-term availability of raw materials especially crude palm oil, POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd is formulating strategies to “lock in” supplies from Sabah’s 1.2 million hectares oil palm plantations, and roughly 2 million hectares of plantations being developed in the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan, located south of the Indonesian-Malaysian border from Lahad Datu.

Datuk Ewon presenting a token to Mr Dilip Gaur, President/CEO of Pan- Century Oleochemical Sdn Bhd in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd delegation with Mr Shien Chang, Executive Director of J.C. Chang (Ptd) Ltd. J.C. Chang has existing oil palm plantation and milling operations in the Lahad Datu area.
News clipping Sabah Times (Page 1)
News clipping Sabah Times (Page 2)

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