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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 The Edge News
 Govt happy with response to POIC

19/7/06 (The Edge News)  -  Kota Kinabalu: Investors are lining up to buy industrial land for palm oil related investment in the State Government-owned palm oil industrial cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said.

This encouraging interest would generate investments running into hundreds of millions of ringgit.

Opening the POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd office and a seminar on "Biodiesel Technology" at the Sabah Trade Centre, here, Tuesday, Musa said:

"I have been told site preparations in Lahad Datu will be completed well ahead of schedule. Some factory buildings are expected to be put up some time next year." Sales and purchase agreements with a number of investors are expected to be signed next month.

Musa said in anticipation of the demand from investors and the bright prospects of the oil palm sector, POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd was considering expanding the industrial cluster to allow for more industries.

"We (State Government) are pleased with the progress of POIC Sdn Bhd," he said. Because of the encouraging interest to POIC Sdn Bhd's developing palm oil industrial cluster in Lahad Datu, the Government directed Sawit Kinabalu Bhd, another State Government wholly-owned company, to implement a similar project in Sandakan.

The CM said the State Government was grateful that the POIC concept in Sabah received encouraging response from the Federal Government.

The Federal Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities acknowledges the pioneering importance of POIC Lahad Datu and is fully supporting its development through funding and policies alignment.

Musa also disclosed that POIC Sdn Bhd had set-up Malaysian Palm Oil Board's research and training centre in Lahad Datu, the first of its kind in Malaysia.

"With a capacity for 300 trainees at any one time, the centre is set to play an important role in supplying the manpower needs of the industry in the State in the coming years," he said.

Musa said the palm oil industrial clusters in Lahad Datu and Sandakan would help create employment to 20,000 new job seekers, including 4,000 university graduates in Sabah annually.

POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd was incorporated by the State Government in January 2005, to spearhead the implementation the palm oil industrial cluster in Lahad Datu.

The company has a 15-year master plan that envisages the development of some 2,023.4 hectares (5,000 acres) for the setting up of industries using palm oil and oil palm biomass.

Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7802 2800 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533