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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Business times
 Felda sells stake in palm oil refinery to IFFCO Group

20/4/07 (Business Times)  -  KARACHI: Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) has sold half of its palm oil refinery in Port Klang for US$5 million (RM17.15 million) to a regional edible oils player, IFFCO Group.

"We've an equal partnership with Felda. The investment is about US$5 million (RM17.15 million). A month ago, we moved in to manage the refinery in Port Klang. It is capable of processing 800 tonnes a day," IFFCO Pakistan Pvt Ltd chief executive officer Mashkoor Alam said.

"This is the first time we have a joint-venture with Felda and we see this as a long-term partnership. We've comfortable working with Malaysian partners," he told Business Times.

In a separate interview yesterday, Felda Holdings Bhd group managing director Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh refrained from giving details on the IFFCO joint-venture except to say "IFFCO has the marketing network in the Middle East and South Asia".

"Felda sees earnings growth opportunity through such strategic alliances,"

Headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, the IFFCO Group was established 30 years ago. The edible oil trader decided to set up a branch in Pakistan in January 2006 and today it employs 285 workers at its refinery and factories.

"Before we set up the Pakistan branch, IFFCO was trading with soft oils only," Alam said, adding that now in Karachi, IFFCO manages a 800-tonne per day palm oil refinery.

IFFCO bought over the refinery from Evian Fats and Oils Pvt Ltd in January 2006. It is one of the two largest refineries in Pakistan, the other being managed by Mapak Edible Oils Pvt Ltd, of which Felda is a major shareholder.

On outlook for the year, Alam said IFFCO is spending US$20 million (RM68.6 million) to upgrade its Karachi palm oil refinery's capacity to 1,000 tonnes per day and extending production lines to make margarine, shortenings and specialty fats.

"We need to expand refinery capacity and put up new production lines because of high demand for margarine, shortenings and specialty fats. All in, the investment is about US$22 million (RM75.46 million) and the production line capacity is 250 tonnes per day," Alam said.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui is leading a 50-member delegation to Karachi from Wednesday to Saturday, this week, to participate in the Malaysia-Pakistan Palm Oil Trade Seminar.

In enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries, Chin invited Pakistani businessmen to consider supplying crude palm kernel cakes as animal feed to the cattle breeding and dairy industry in Pakistan.

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