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KOTA KINABALU, Mon. (Nov 19, 2007) -- Chemical Company of Malaysia Berhad (CCM Bhd), a company listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia, has confirmed its entry into Sabah to build a fertilizer plant by 2009.

Its subsidiary, CCM Agriculture (Sabah) Sdn Bhd signed a purchase agreement with state-owned POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd today for a 16.65-acre plot in the palm oil industrial cluster in Lahad Datu.

Minister of Industrial Development Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin witnessed the signing at POIC Sabah's head office at the Sabah Trade Centre here led by the Chief Executive Officer of POIC Lahad Datu, Dr Pang Teck Wai, and CCM Agriculture director Haji Mohd Ali Sabri bin Mohd Ali Jaafar. Haji Mohd Ali Sabri is also the Chief Operating Officer of CCM Bhd.

The land purchase price is about RM8 million and CCM Agriculture is expected to invested RM75 million in a fertilizer plant with an annual capacity of about 130,000 tonnes.

Today's signing put the number of investors in POIC Lahad Datu at 16, three of which are major fertilizer companies. Other investors include those in biodiesel, logistics and bulking installations. The combined investments these companies will bring into POIC Lahad Datu is more than RM1.2 billion.

Two biodiesel in POIC Lahad Datu are in operation. They are the Australian-owned SPC Biodiesel Sdn Bhd and the Korean-controlled Global Biodiesel.

Meanwhile, Dr Pang said the entry of a third fertilizer company in POIC Lahad Datu testifies to the confidence these companies have in the future of the Sabah oil industry and POIC Lahad Datu.

According to him, Sabah imports about one million tonnes of fertilizers per year to feed its plantation and cash crop sector. The entry of the fertilizer companies would ensure that the Sabah consumers do not have to pay the costly shipping. This is especially significant in view of the impending rise in transportation charges caused by the sharp rice in petroleum prices.

The CCM Bhd Group is Malaysia's largest chemicals, fertilizers and healthcare companies specializing in chemical products and applications, fertilizers and technical advisory services, pharmaceutical and healthcare products.

CCM Bhd started as a subsidiary of ICI Plc of the United Kingdom and evolved into a Malaysian-owned corporation which went public in 1966. Its website claims it is a 'blue chip' company on the Main Board 'with good returns to shareholders'.

Its Cock's Head brand of compound fertilizers is a household brand in Malaysia and the region.

It's a deal...Datuk K.Y. Mustafa (2nd right), a director of POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd exchanging documents with Haji Mohd Ali Sabri (left) after the signing ceremony yesterday. The signing was witnessed by Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin (2nd left) and Dr Pang Teck Wai.

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