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News 26371 to News 26380 of about 27022 news within page 2638
26371. 05/03/2002
Tuesday, March 5, 2002 (The Star) - BANK Industri & Teknologi Malaysia Bhdhas extended a seven-year term loan facility of RM20mil to Palm Energy SdnBhd to finance the construction of a 9.8MW biomass based co-generationpower plant in Lahat Datu, Sabah.The RM30mil power plant – believed to be the first in Malaysia to recycleoil palm waste, such as empty fruit bunches and palm kernel shells, togenerate electricity – will supply power for Kwantas Corp Bhd, Palm Energy’s parent company operating in Lahat Datu and its surrounding areas.Bank Industri Group managing director, Md Noor Yusoff said yesterday: “This is the bank’s first venture into a biomass renewable energy conceptproject, which capitalises on the abundant fuel resources from oil palmwaste as an alternative source of fuel.’’For this year, the bank is targeting a loans disbursement of RM35mil forthe environmental sector, he said.Noor said the bank was also targeting other sub-sectors under theenvironment sector, including wastewater, solid waste management andpollution control projects.“We plan to disburse about RM200mil in loans for the environmental sectorover the next five years,’’ he said after the term-loan facility signingceremony between Bank Industri and Palm Energy in Kuala Lumpur.Meanwhile, Kwantas Corp group managing director Steve Kwan said PalmEnergy’s power plant is expected to make savings of between RM8mil andRM10mil a year in fuel costs for the group.Kwantas’ core activities include a 70,000-acre oil palm plantation, a palmoil refinery and a stone quarry in Lahat Datu.It is listed on the KLSE main board.The power plant, located near Kwantas’ palm oil refinery is scheduled forcompletion next month.Kwan said: “We are also discussing with power purchasers such as SabahElectricity Sdn Bhd the possibility of selling our excess electricitysupply to cater for the increasing power demand in Lahat Datu.’’
26372. 05/03/2002
01 March 2002 (Business Times) - PRIMARY Industries Minister Datuk Seri DrLim Keng Yaik will head a crude palm oil (CPO) trade mission to five WestAsian countries for two weeks starting on March 16.A Government official said Dr Lim will lead the mission to Syria, Iraq,Turkey, Egypt and Morocco to promote the commodity to the region as wellas expand Malaysia’s CPO market .
26373. 05/03/2002
Tuesday, March 5, 2002 (The Star) - KUALA LUMPUR: The first visit by ahigh-level North Korean delegation to Malaysia has been marked with thesigning of two agreements between both countries after discussions betweenthe two governments.The two agreements were on palm oil credit and payment and a culturalexchange programme.Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik and Culture, Artsand Tourism Minister Datuk Kadir Sheikh Fadzir signed on be-half ofMalaysia.North Korean Peoples Assembly supreme leader Kim Yong-nam is in thecountry, leading a 33-member delegation for a three-day official visit inan effort to strengthen bilateral ties.The delegation, which arrived on Sunday, was given a state welcome atParliament Square and received on arrival by Yang di-Pertuan Agong TuankuSyed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail.Kim later had bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Datuk Seri DrMahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya.Acting Foreign Minister Datuk Azmi Khalid said the palm oil loanagreement, worth US$10mil (RM38mil), was the second such credit agreementwith North Korea.North Korea, he said, invited Malaysian companies to explore into energyand petroleum field as its resources had yet to be fully explored.He said both leaders had similar views on current international andregional issues and Malaysia expressed full support to reunification ofthe two Koreas.He also said both parties agreed to increase bilateral trade. The tradevolume was RM31mil a year.Meanwhile, in a state banquet at Istana Negara, the King expressedMalaysia’s full support for the steps being taken by North and South Koreatowards resolving their differences and achieving unification.Bernama reports that the King also hopes Kim’s visit would furtherstrengthen relations between the Malaysian and Korean peoples in culturaland other fields.
26374. 28/02/2002
26 February 2002 (Business Times) - MALAYSIA wants China to stop using “protective trade mechanisms” with regard to the import of crude palm oil(CPO) and honour its World Trade Organisation (WTO) obligations.Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said even thoughChina is to import 2.4 million tonnes of CPO in 2002 under a WTO ruling,it may not commit itself to buying such an amount.“Malaysia is urging China to stick to its WTO obligations and allow a freeflow of CPO in the spirit of free trade,” he told reporters in Bangiyesterday.“China can announce the quota but it may not necessarily stick to it, “said Dr Lim who earlier opened a seminar on carbon finance for the palmoil sector.China, Malaysia’s third biggest CPO buyer last year with 1.292 milliontonnes, had in previous years allocated its CPO import quotas to itsstate-owned importers twice a year.China usually announces the first tranche in March followed by the secondtranche in July.Last year, India was Malaysia's biggest palm oil buyer, taking in 2.031million tonnes, followed by the European Union, which bought 1.601 milliontonnes.In 2000, China’s CPO import quota was set at 1.5 million tonnes, of whichit bought 800,135 tonnes. Last year, the republic set a quota of 1.4million tonnes.
26375. 27/02/2002
25 February 2002 (Business Times) - CONSTRUCTION-BASED IJM Corp Bhd iseyeing a bigger portion of the proposed RM12 billion double-trackingproject linking Padang Besar in Perlis to Johor Baru, Johor.Sources said IJM is currently in talks with the main contractor of theproject, India-based Ircon International Ltd to secure part of the civilworks of the project said to be worth at about RM100 million.“IJM does not discount the possibility of securing more civil works alongthe entire stretch in the future,” the source told Business Times in KualaLumpur yesterday.“Even though, IJM is not the main local partner of the project, it doesnot mean that IJM cannot go out there to secure additional deals,” saidthe source.Malaysia had in May last year endorsed the participation of both India andChina in the double-tracking project which comes under the RM12 billioncounter-trade programme to promote demand for palm oil.The counter-trade will see the delivery of around 8 million tonnes of palmoil over a period of between five and six years to each country.The proposed project is divided into the northern portion linking Ipoh toPadang Besar over a distance of 338.8km valued at RM6 billion.The southern portion links Seremban to Johor Baru over a distance of 297kmalso valued at RM6 billion.Under the proposal, Ircon will undertake double tracking andelectrification of the northern portion while China Railway EngineeringCorp will undertake the southern portion.DRB HICOM Bhd, Emrail Sdn Bhd and Kien Huat Group have been identified aslocal partners to carry out various civil works at the southern gridvalued at RM4.2 billion.Mitsui Consortium was given a contract to implement the power generation,electrification and signalling systems for both portions of the tracks.The project is also part of the Peninsula’s rail network which will formpart of the Trans-Asia railway that links Singapore with Kunming in China.Double-tracking refers to the construction of a new railway track parallelto the existing railway line enabling two trains in opposite directions totravel at a time.The current single railway track hampers the journey of a south-boundtrain which has to wait for a north-bound train to pass before being ableto continue its journey.Ircon and the Government has signed a memorandum of understanding in Maylast year during Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s state visitto Malaysia.State-owned construction and engineering firm Ircon was supposed to sign aformal agreement with the Government by end of last year, paving the wayfor construction works to begin this year.But to date, no word has been heard on when construction which is expectedto start although Ircon has carried out preliminary works.Industry observers have said that the delay was caused by the complexpaying mechanism in the purchasing of palm oil due to the fluctuatingnature of the commodity’s prices in the market.Ircon’s managing director B.S. Kapur could not be contacted last Friday ashe was away at a project site in southern India.IJM’s involvement in double-tracking civil works is not new.The company has in the past carried out numerous civil works which includeKuala Lumpur’s Light Rail Transit system.Other’s include civil works for KTM Bhd mainly in Selangor and thedouble-tracking project at the Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor.Currently, IJM is also a party of the on-going RM2.5 billion electrifieddouble tracking project linking Rawang in Selangor and Ipoh, Perak whichis expected to be completed by July next year.The electrified project is also headed by DRB HICOM Bhd, with foursub-contractors which are IJM (building), Perspec Prime (mainline), EmrailSdn Bhd (yard and track) and UE Construction (bridge).IJM has businesses in construction, plantations, manufacturing andquarrying and international ventures.IJM is now a construction supermarket specialising in infrastructure andbuilding works ranging from piling and foundation, highways, roads andbridges, power, oil and gas.Other works include water supply, marine works, hospitals and medicalcentres, condominiums, hotels, resorts and clubs, residential, commercialand industrial complexes to preservation and refurbishment works.These works are complemented by industrial building systems, steelfabrication and the production and supply of building materials and rockproducts.Meanwhile, at the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange, IJM shares closed 8 senlower last Friday at RM4.32 with 1.283 million shares traded.
26376. 27/02/2002
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 (Bernama) -- Primary Industries Minister Datuk SeriDr Lim Keng Yaik said Malaysia hopes that China, which has just joined theWorld Trade Organisation (WTO), will adhere to the true spirit of tradeliberalisation.
26377. 27/02/2002
27 February 2002 (Business Times) - MALAYSIA and Russia are expected tosign a US$50 million (US$1 = RM3.80) Palm Oil Credit Payment Arrangement,Pocpa, on March 10.Government officials said under the agreement, about 200,000 tonnes ofpalm oil will be delivered to Russia over two years on a credit basis.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad is expected to sign thePocpa agreement with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.The two countries were supposed to have formalised the pact last Septemberbut the Prime Minister’s trip was cancelled following the terroristattacks on the US on September 11. Dr Mahathir was to have visited Russiafrom September 12 to 15 and Germany from September 18 to 20 last year.During his three-day official visit to Russia next month, Dr Mahathir willbe accompanied by Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaikand officials from the Malay-sian Palm Oil Board and the Malaysian PalmOil Promotion Council. Dr Mahathir is also expected to be accompanied byseveral Cabinet ministers and a trade delegation from the private sector.The Prime Minister will discuss several bilateral issues with Putin.Under Pocpa, which was introduced by the Government in 1992, credit isoffered to long-term buyers of Malaysia’s palm oil. The countries, inparticular those which face a shortage of foreign exchange, are normallygranted a two-year credit line to buy the commodity from Malaysia.The bilateral payments arrangement scheme promotes counter trade involvingthe exchange of palm oil for a host of products, while expanding theglobal market for the Malay-sian commodity.Products include the exchange of palm oil for machinery, rice, groundnutoil, sesame seed, beef and others.Pocpa also encourages research and development on palm oil betweensignatory countries.Of the US$500 million allocated for the scheme, Malaysia as of March 21last year hasextended US$227.4 million in credit to nine countries.The recipients are Algeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Myanmar,Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cuba and North Korea.New deals in the works include those with Egypt, Bangladesh, Ukraine,Djibouti, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and other countries in Africa andSouth America.Malaysia was exporting between 350,000 tonnes and 400,000 tonnes of palmoil a year to the former Soviet Union before its collapse, of which 80 percent was consumed by Russia. Since 1993, Russia has been buying between40,000 tonnes and 60,000 tonnes a year.According to the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Russia bought 47,802 tonnes ofthe commodity valued at RM62 million in 1999 and 64,229 tonnes valued atRM67.5 million in 2000.
26378. 20/02/2002
19 February, 2002 (Business Times) - CHINA will officially announce itscrude palm oil (CPO) import quota totalling 2.4 million tonnes for 2002 onThursday.Malaysian Palm Oil Association chief executive M.R. Chandran said China’sState Development and Planning Commission (SDPC) will on that day issuethe certificates of eligibility to the republic’s CPO importers.“Under the system, importers will have until February 25 to apply and fillin the certificates.“The importers will only know whether they are eligible to import theirdesired CPO amount by March 5,” Chandran told Business Times in KualaLumpur yesterday.Chandran said SDPC will first process the applications and the amount ofCPO each importer wishes to import before giving the stamp of approval onMarch 5.“SDPN has the authority to determine and make changes to the finalallocation of CPO that each importer can be allowed to import,” saidChandran.He added this time around, 66 per cent or about 10 companies from theprivate sector will be allowed to import while the rest will be made up ofstate-owned agencies.Previously, only state-owned agencies were allowed to import CPO.The announcement of the long-awaited quota is long overdue. Traders havewidely speculated that the quota will be announced in the first week ofJanuary and the latest by the Lunar New Year last Tuesday.Traders have estimated that out of the 2.4 million tonnes quota, Malaysia’s CPO exports may well account for up to 70 per cent or 1.68 milliontonnes.The quota is open to all CPO producers in the world which include Malaysia’s biggest competitor, Indonesia.Malaysia accounts for up to 50 per cent of the world’s CPO productionwhile Indonesia constitutes about 30 per cent.China, Malaysia’s third biggest CPO buyer last year at 1.02 milliontonnes, previously announced its CPO quota twice a year.In 2000, the quota was 1.5 million tonnes, of which it bought 800,135tonnes.Last year, the republic imposed a quota of 1.4 million tonnes of which itbought 1.02 million tonnes.It usually announces the first tranche of 700,000 tonnes in March followedby the second tranche of 700,000 in July.But the quota has been raised to 2.4 million tonnes since its full-fledgedformal entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last December 12.Industry observers had also said that China’s entry into the WTO willboost Malaysia’s palm oil exports to the republic by 64 per cent byyear-end to 1.68 million tonnes from last year’s 1.02 million tonnes.Under a WTO ruling, China is required to open up its market and graduallyremove trade barriers and tariffs on various goods which include palm oilby 2005.Chandran said SDPN also announced CPO quota for 2003, 2004 and 2005 whichstand at 2.6 million tonnes, 2.7 million tonnes and 2.88 million tonnes,respectively.SDPN has also announced the quota for soyabean which stands at 2.518million tonnes for 2002, 2.5 million tonnes (2003), 2.85 million tonnes(2004) and 3.26 million tonnes (2005).Rapeseed quota for 2002 stands at 770,000 tonnes, 880,000 tonnes (2003),996,000 tonnes (2004) and 1.13 million tonnes (2005).Chandran said soyabean quota for 2002 was supposed to be at 2.2 milliontonnes but has been raised to 2.5 million tonnes, probably due to cheaperArgentine soyabean at the moment.“As a result of the devalued Argentine peso at the moment, China hasprobably decided to cash in on the cheaper soyabean now rather thanlater,” he said.He added that the Chinese Government will also stick to its present CPOduty of 9 per cent for every tonne imported like before.Malaysia is the world’s largest CPO producer, exporting 9,081,495 tonnesworth RM12.47 billion in 2000 compared with an all-time high of RM21.3billion in 1998.Meanwhile, third-month May CPO futures contract on the MalaysianDerivatives Exchange closed RM35 higher at RM1,162 a tonne after breakingthe key resistance of RM1,150 a tonne. Volume was 2,717 lots.
26379. 20/02/2002
20 February, 2002 (Business Times) - THE crude palm oil (CPO) market looksset to sizzle this year as output suffers under the extremes in weatherconditions attributed to the El Nino phenomenon.The last time El Nino made its presence felt in the country was inearly-1998, when dry spells saw CPO production plunge and prices surgepast RM2,000 a tonne.If the hot spell and the bush fires of the last few days are bad, waittill the second half of the year, the experts are now warning. Already,the country had been experiencing a rainless period of six consecutiveweeks.And traders are expecting El Nino to again cause widespread droughtconditions in Malaysia, which may sufficiently affect production to causea rally in prices of the commodity to heights not seen in four years.“It will be a boon for the CPO market... low moisture content in theatmosphere during the period will see lower yields and production,” atrader told Business Times.The El Nino effect refers to a sustained warming of a large part of thecentral and eastern Pacific Ocean, first noted in the seas off Peru inSouth America. It seems to recur every four to seven years and typicallylasts 12 to 18 months.In the previous occasion, drastic changes in weather patterns across muchof the Pacific Basin, including Malaysia, were experienced.Malaysian Palm Oil Association chief executive M.R. Chandran said shouldthe El Nino indeed set in, fresh fruit bunches (FFBs) yield, depending onarea, could be reduced by as much as 20 per cent.“During a dry spell, moisture content in the air and in FFB will be lowerthan normal causing the palm flowers to have a higher than normal abortionrate.“Instead of producing fully mature FFBs in the normal five to six months,it could take seven to eight months,” he said.“As such, a grower who normally produces 20 tonnes of FFB per ha mayexpect 18 tonnes at best.”In 1998, CPO production totalled 8.3 million tonnes and prices averagedRM2,378 a tonne.Atmospheric precipitation returned to normal levels in the following year,and output of the commodity surged to 10.55 million tonnes, 10.80 milliontonnes and 11.803 million tonnes in 1999, 2000 and 2001, respectively.And plantation companies would not be too unhappy should El Nino comesa-calling in the months ahead, traders said, noting that although theywould be selling lesser amounts of CPO, their fall in revenue would bemore than offset by an increase in prices from the current RM1,100-RM1,200a tonne level.Chandran however pointed out that the supply crunch would not be immediateand the sector has also to take into consideration the possible differencein impact of changes in weather patterns on the other 16 edible oils.“If output of other oils, in particular soyabean oil, goes upsignificantly, CPO prices may not benefit too much from a decline in itsown supply.“In any case, El Nino is usually heralded by a high occurence of forestfires in the region, especially in Indonesia. We have yet to hear any suchreports,” he said.Affin-UOB meanwhile said in a research note that CPO output can beexpected to fall in the near term not only because of the drier days, butalso due to factors like tree stress from the last few years of strongyields as well as last year’s replanting activities and reduction infertiliser use.The research house said expects CPO prices to average RM1,250 a tonne thisyear, compared to RM2,482 a tonne in August 1998.Malaysian Meteorological Services Department director general Chow Kok Keesaid it is still too early to say that the current dry spell marks thebeginning of the El Nino effect.“The department and scientists all over the world are monitoring thesituation and so far signs, like a marked increase in ocean temperature,are still absent.“The current dry spell is a normal yearly occurence because Malaysia isapproaching the end of the north-east monsoon season which is dry,” saidChow.He added El Nino is a large-scale phenomenon that affects the whole of thePacific Basin and does not happen overnight.“It will take many months before we can actually be sure if the effects ofthe El Nino are indeed setting in,” he added.Meanwhile, third-month May CPO futures on the Malaysia DerivativesExchange closed RM2 a tonne lower at RM1,160. Volume was heavy at 1,939lots.
26380. 20/02/2002
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 19 (Bernama) -- ePOMEX Palm Oil (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, asubsidiary of HeiTech Padu Bhd, Tuesday announced that the Malaysianelectronic exchange for physical delivery of oil palm products which begantrading in late 2001, has now installed 16 Seat Holders.
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