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News 28291 to News 28300 of about 28417 news within page 2830
28291. 22/06/2001
   
Hospital uses soy-based fuel to face energy crisisLONG BEACH, Ca. 6/21/2001Fueled by concern over volatile energy costs androlling blackouts in California, officials from St. Mary Medical Center inLong Beach today announced the hospital has switched to biodiesel to runon-site generators and boilers.Biodiesel is a clean-burning fuel that can be made from any fat or oil,such as soybean oil. It can be used in any diesel engine with few or nomodifications to the engine necessary. Although biodiesel is used mostlyas a motor fuel for trucks and buses, it can be used in boilers andgenerators as well. About 80 major fleets, including transit authorities,school districts, government fleets and national parks use biodiesel. Itperforms comparably to diesel, with similar cetane and BTU content."We are very excited about the advantages this new fuel provides inresponding to our statewide energy crisis," said Tomi Hadfield, Presidentof St. Mary Medical Center. "This is very promising for our colleaguesfacing these same challenges."St. Mary expects a daily cost savings of $350 per day over an averagenatural gas price of $14.28 per decatherm. Moreover, the hospital can stayup and running during blackouts without emitting high levels of pollution."The biodiesel that our company is supplying to the hospital is mixed withan additive that significantly lowers NOx emissions," said Gene Gebolys,president of World Energy (www.worldenergy.net). "The emissions resultshave been certified by the South Coast Air Quality Management District,showing that it meets strict NOx requirements."Biodiesel also significantly reduces particulate matter, carbon monoxide,unburned hydrocarbons and sulfate emissions compared to petroleum diesel.A joint study by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department ofAgriculture shows biodiesel reduces life cycle carbon dioxide by 78percent. It is the only alternative fuel to have passed the rigorousHealth Effects testing requirements of the Clean Air Act. The results,submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2000, show biodieselis non-toxic, biodegradable and reduces air toxics by 90 percent.
28292. 22/06/2001
   
I&P awaits approval to set up palm oil refineryThursday, June 21, 2001(The Star)- ISLAND and Peninsular Bhd (I&P) isseriously pursuing efforts to set up a palm oil refinery in Bintulu,Sarawak, and is currently waiting for approval from the state government.I&P managing director Dr Radzuan Abdul Rahman said the group would belooking at an investment of RM50mil, which he considered "a normalfigure."Radzuan told reporters this after the AGMs of I&P and its listedplantation arm Austral Enterprises Bhd in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.He said depending on how soon approval was obtained, it would take 18 to24 months to complete the refinery.Radzuan hopes the refinery could began operation by 2004 with a productioncapacity of 1,000 tonnes per day.According to Radzuan, the rationale for the proposed refinery is theincreasing volume of fresh fruit bunches (FFB) harvested by the group inSarawak.I&P, through Austral, has 36,542 ha of plantation landbank in Sarawak."As one of the pioneers and a major plantation player in Sarawak, we wouldsoon be harvesting a big crop from existing matured areas," Radzuan said.He said at present, there was only one buyer in Sarawak, which meant thatthe group was just "a price taker.""We are turning the tables to become a refiner instead of a price taker,"he said.Radzuan said that the group had enough FFB volume and other sources ofcrop nearby to justify the refinery.For the financial year ended Jan 31, 2001, Austral recorded FFB productionof 580,469 tonnes and palm oil production of 102,984 tonnes.Radzuan said that I&P would soon be opening a RM23mil oil palm mill inDerawan, Bintulu.On the group's 1st quarter performance for the current financial year,Radzuan said that despite the soft property market and depressing palm oilprices, the company managed to pull through "quite nicely.""We have always been in the black and never seen red in the past whileother property or plantation companies might be hovering between the blackand the red," he said.The group, he said, was still optimistic about achieving RM1bil turnoverby 2005."The growth target is still within reach, supported by consolidation ofour existing business and additional income from new enterprises," hesaid.According to Radzuan, the core property and plantation businesses wouldremain as the group's major contributors while trading is poised to be thekey third business entity.For the financial year ended Jan 31, 2001, I&P's pre-tax profit was halvedto RM65mil on the back of RM362mil turnover. This was achieved on the backof sales of 829 units, mostly at its flagship development project BandarKinrara and FFB production of 580,469 tonnes at an average selling priceof RM961 per tonne.
28293. 22/06/2001
   
Malaysian palm oil promotion seeks to increase demand in AfricaKuala Lumpur, (Business Times) 6/20/2001-The east African nation ofDjibouti is set to become the latest signatory of the Palm Oil CreditPayment Arrangement (POCPA) scheme, with the republic expected to sign theagreement with Malaysia within this year. Its ambassador to Malaysia,Japan, South Korea and Singapore Rachad Farah said Djibouti is seeking aUS$5 million (US$1 = RM3.80) loan to buy palm oil from Malaysia under thescheme."We will be submitting the proposal to the Primary Industries Ministry,with certain amendments to suit to our needs. We have finalised theamendments to the proposal," he told Business Times in an interview inKuala Lumpur. Rachad, who is based in Tokyo, was on a one-week visit toMalaysia since June 11.Rachad said he will submit the proposal to the Primary Industries Ministrysoon. "They (Primary Industries Ministry) have agreed in principle to getto us within a month after the proposal was presented and approved by theMalaysian Government," he said.As a follow-up to this, he said the Djibouti Central Bank will send adelegation to Malaysia to sign the POCPA agreement once the MalaysianCabinet gives the approval for Djibouti to secure the loan. "This is justthe beginning.We may request for additional loan under POCPA. . . . it may be anotherUS$5 million or US$10 million, depending on the need. We will also try topromote the use of palm oil to neighbouring countries such as Ethiopia,Eriteria, Somalia and Sudan which currently consume soya oil imported fromthe US," he said.A former French territory of 22,000 sq km in area, Djibouti has apopulation of about 860,000 people.Introduced by Malaysia several years ago, POCPA is a form of bilateralpayment arrangement to promote counter trade of palm oil between signatorycountries. The scheme is also aimed at promoting research and developmentof palm oil among research organisations of signatory countries and alsoto revive an industry faced with weakening demand for the past few years.Malaysia has roped in Algeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Myanmar,Bosnia Herzegovina and Cuba under the scheme.Besides palm oil, Rachad said Djibouti also plans to import some 300Proton cars to be converted into taxis, as part of its efforts to improvethe transportation system in that country. Rachad met Proton officials inShah Alam yesterday."Our discussion was a fruitful one and Proton has agreed in principle todeliver the 300 Proton cars for our public transport purposes, similar tothe one used by Malaysian cabbies in the Klang Valley, he said yesterday.He said if there is great demand for Proton cars, including for individualpurposes, Djibouti will not hesitate to import more of the national cars.While other imported cars are being taxed at 35 per cent, Rachad saidDjibouti will not impose tax on the Proton cars."In the spirit of Muslim brotherhood, we are giving preference to Protonto export its cars to Djibouti tax-free," he said.
28294. 22/06/2001
   
Malaysian palm oil supplies up, India switches to importing soyKuala Lumpur (Reuters) 6/19/2001- Malaysia’s palm oil futures were mostlystable at the close on Thursday with players ignoring bearish May cropdata and keeping their faith on a possible increase in Chinese purchasethis year.Private forecaster Ivan Wong said palm oil output was estimated to haverisen to 991,000 tonnes on May, up 7.5% from a month earlier. At theclose, Malaysia’s benchmark third-month August contract was up RM 3 at RM823 a tonne after trading as high as RM 825. Overall volume was 1,385lots. The official Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) was scheduled torelease May palm oil output, exports and end-month stocks figures onFriday, when cargo surveyor ITS and SGS will issue their June 1-15 exportdata.Industry sources say China issued 600,000 tonnes of palm oil import quotasin Jan for the first half of this year and for another 100,000 tonnes inMay. They said the quota for the second half of the year could reach800,000 tonnes, up from an earlier estimate of 700,000.But some traders believed Malaysia may lose any benefit reaped from suchincreased palm oil demand as India, their main customer, switches tosoybean oil to profit from lower import duties. The Solvent ExtractorsAssociation of India said on Thursday the country purchased around 260,000tonnes of soybean oil in Nov-April, but imports were expected to increaseto up to 800,000 tonnes in May-Oct because of the duty differential. Totalsoybean oil imports would be more than one million tonnes for the 2000 –2001 oil year (Nov-Oct) compared with 700,000 tonnes in 1999/2000, itsaid.In the physical sector, June crude palm oil (CPO) for the sector, for thesouthern and central region was offered at RM 815 a tonne against bids atRM 810. Trades were done at RM 810 to RM 812.50 for south and at RM 810for central.July CPO for the southern and central regions saw offers at RM 825 againstbids of RM 820. Trade was reported at RM 820 – 825 for south and at RM 820for central.Among refined products, June/July RBD palm oil was offered at US$ 235 atonne FOB. There were offers for June/July RBD olein at US$ 252.50 andJune RBD palm stearin was offered at US$ 182.50. June palm fatty aciddistillate was offered at US$ 152.50.
28295. 22/06/2001
   
MPOPC promotes palm oil in rural BangladeshKuala Lumpur, 6/21/2001-The Malaysian Palm Oil Rural Promotion Programmehas been launched in Bangladesh. Datuk Dr. Mohd. Yusof Ahmad, theMalaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, inaugurated the programme atBhulta, a village 30km from Dhaka, on Sunday.About 1,000 villagers from Bhulta gathered at a school to know more aboutthe goodness of palm oil.The Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council (MPOPC) and Bangladesh Edible OilLtd (BOEL), a private company, are jointly organising the programme whichwill continue for three months and cover 90 village.Palm oil introduced to consumers in Bangladesh about 25 years ago and hassteadily become popular. Now it is a well-know edible oil among urbanconsumers and the import of palm oil into Bangladesh has been increasingrapidly.At Bhulta, the benefits of palm oil were explained to villagers throughlectures and films. Booklets containing information were also distributed.Dr Yusof said he is confident palm oil will gain wider acceptance inBangladesh.The use of Malaysian palm oil as an everyday consumer product is no longera rarity in the Bangladesh market, Dr Yusof said. The last few years haveindeed witnessed Malaysian palm oil emerging as a viable alternative toother imports among local consumers.Datuk Haron Siraj, chief executive officer of MPOPC, who was also at thelaunch, said the objective of the rural promotion programme is to increaseconsumer awareness of palm oil. it is, he said, a healthy edible oilnaturally rich in vitamin-E and affordable.Besides promoting palm oil. Haron said, MPOPC and BEOL will construct aculvert on the canal on the eastern side of the school field at Bhulta tofacilitate the movement of local people.AKM Fakhrul Alam, country representatives of MPOPC in Bangladesh, said theimport of palm oil into Bangladesh has been rising.During the first five months of this year, 170,000 tonnes of palm oil wereimported. The import volume is much higher than that of the correspondingperiod of last year, he added.
28296. 22/06/2001
   
Unilever's new spread helps cholesterol reduction with soy sterols6/20/2001 - ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., June 19 /PRNewswire -- Patientsalready on statin medication can reduce their LDL (bad) cholesterolfurther by consuming a spread containing plant sterols, as part of a dietlow in saturated fat and cholesterol. The plant sterols, from naturallyoccuring soybean extract, work as part of the normal digestive process tohelp block absorption of cholesterol.According to a study published in the June issue of Atherosclerosis(1),the spread containing plant sterols, Take Control(R), actively reduced LDLcholesterol by 10 to 15 percent in both patients who tookcholesterol-lowering medication and in those who did not. HDL (good)cholesterol levels remained unchanged. The study was carried out at theRadcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, England, on 62 hypercholesterolemic patientsbetween 33 and 62 years of age. The subjects consumed 25 g per day of TakeControl over the eight-week trial period. Thirty of the patients were oncholesterol-lowering medication and 32 were not."These findings add to the weight of clinical evidence demonstrating thebenefits of consuming a plant sterol spread for all adults with raisedcholesterol levels -- whether or not they are on statins," said ErnstSchaefer, MD, professor of medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine,Endocrinology and Lipids Division. "Spreads containing plant sterolsprovide an additive effect on top of their medication when used as part ofa healthy diet. In some patients drug therapy might be avoided, and inothers it might allow treatment at lower doses."According to lead researcher Andrew Neil, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford,"These findings now show that spreads containing plant sterols are equallyefficacious in reducing total and LDL cholesterol in patients regardlessof whether they are taking statin medications or not. Patients who usethese spreads alongside cholesterol-lowering drugs can see greatercholesterol reductions than those achieved with medication alone."Take Control's active ingredient, plant sterol esters, was highlighted inthe National Cholesterol Education Program's (NCEP) new guidelines fortreating high cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease (releasedMay 15, 2001). In September of 2000, this active ingredient in TakeControl received FDA approval for early use of a heart-health claim.(2)Final approval of the health claim is expected at any time.Hundreds of studies conducted since the 1950s show the cholesterol-lowering effect of plant sterols.(3,4) In addition, Unilever hasundertaken 30 studies demonstrating the safety and efficacy of theproduct, which clearly show that no other spread is more effective atlowering cholesterol.Unilever, the parent company of Unilever Bestfoods, is the world's leadingmanufacturer of margarines and spreads, with category expertise extendingback more than seven decades. Outside of the U.S., Take Control ismarketed under the brand name, Becel/Flora proactiv. More information onTake Control products can be found at www.takecontrol.com .
28297. 19/06/2001
   
Chicago Tribune (soyatech.com): Jun. 13--Archer Daniels Midland Co.,hoping to tap a growing market for health-oriented foods, is pressingahead with plans to launch a "fat-reducing" vegetable oil in the U.S.The Decatur-based grain-processing giant is joining forces with Japan'sKao Corp. to produce a cooking oil they contend is less likely than otheroils to be stored in the body as fat. The product, to be sold under anas-yet-undetermined name, is designed to let overweight Americans havetheir cake and eat it too.The oil ADM hopes to roll out in the U.S. is metabolized by the body in amanner different than other fats, ADM said. That quality, the companyemphasized, makes it significantly different from Procter & Gamble'sfake-fat olestra product, which was designed to pass through the human gutlargely undigested.Since P&G spent hundreds of millions of dollars to develop olestra, theproduct has had disappointing sales--in large part because of consumerconcerns over unwelcome gastrointestinal problems the product occasionallycreates.ADM, which has much more modest early-stage sales targets in mind for itshealth-oriented cooking oil, said the ADM/Kao product doesn't createsimilar side effects.Kao scientists developed the oil, and the Japanese company currently sellsit in Japan under the brand name Healthy Econa."In two years, it went from a laboratory product to the largest-sellingcooking oil in Japan," an ADM spokesman said.On Wednesday, ADM and Kao are expected to announce that they've formed anequally owned joint venture to produce and distribute the oil in the U.S.,Europe and certain other markets outside Japan. The venture will constructa pilot plant in Decatur, which will begin producing the specialized oilby November, according to the two companies.The product can be made using either soybeans or the oilseed known ascanola."We believe that DAG can become a major new product line for ADM," saidADM's president, John D. McNamara. Initial market forecasts, he said,indicate product sales could reach $150 million annually.But ADM and Kao are moving relatively slowly, waiting for certain U.S.regulatory clearances that the partners think will broaden the potentialmarket. "We've seen others get ahead of things in terms of marketdevelopment," said spokesman Larry Cunningham, in a laconic reference toP&G's ill-starred olestra rollout.ADM doesn't expect to introduce the oil before late 2002, and officialshaven't put a figure on the long-term sales potential for the oil, saidthe executive vice president, but "we know it's something that could makea significant contribution to the bottom line."For ADM, which generated total sales in the latest fiscal year of $12.9billion, a one-half share of the projected $150 million in sales wouldrepresent only a slight financial impact. But the joint venture increasesthe commodity-processor's nascent bid to push into the higher-marginconsumer segment.The alliance also increases ADM's presence in the still-evolving butpotentially lucrative market for "functional foods," in which foodstuffsare altered or enhanced so that they offer not just healthy nutrition, butspecific health benefits.Oat-bran cereals are already marketed for their ability to reduceblood-cholesterol levels, for example, and Johnson & Johnson makes thesame cardiac-health claims for its cholesterol-lowering Benecolmargarine-like spread.ADM currently produces a soy protein that some food makers use as anadditive in making nutraceuticals, including a food product aimed athelping women avoid developing osteoporosis. But to date, it hasn't solddirectly to consumers."If (the oil) is marketed even reasonably smartly, it could be incrediblypopular, Brian Wansink, an associate professor and food-marketing expertat the University of Illinois, told Dow Jones newswire recently. Wansink,who thinks the product could prove helpful to U.S. soybean farmers, alsosaid the oil "could be one of the biggest things to happen to the soyindustry in 15 years."The oil ADM will begin co-marketing with Kao is produced through a processthat substantially increases the amount of a naturally occurring compoundknown as diacylglycerol, or DAG. Because DAG is metabolized in the bodydifferently than other oils, ADM contends, the product is more likely tobe burned for energy rather than stored as body fat.In fact, ADM said, clinical studies conducted in Japan have suggested thatDAG oil in fact "may increase overall metabolism, helping to reduce theamount of fat already stored in the body."Such assertions underscore why nutraceuticals remain a controversialelement in the food industry. Drugs developed by pharmaceutical makersmust go through years-long studies that prove to the satisfaction of theFood and Drug Administration that the compound is not just safe, buteffective as a treatment. In contrast, products sold as food--even thosethat make limited health claims--don't have to clear such hurdles, andneed only be certified as safe to consume.The FDA ruled several months ago that Kao's DAG oil is "generallyrecognized as safe" in a crucial designation that cleared the way forlimited sale of the product in this country. The FDA's ruling permits saleof the product as a cooking oil and as a spread; the agency hasn't yetcleared the product for use in food processing, a segment AMD considersone of the most promising potential markets.The venture to be announced Wednesday, which fulfills a tentative letterof intent the two companies signed earlier this year, aims to use thestrengths of each partner, ADM said. According to McNamara, the president,ADM's principal contribution will be "our access to key markets and (our)vast production capabilities," while Kao's will be the technology itsscientists developed.ADM declined to provide details on how much financial funding the venturewill receive
28298. 19/06/2001
   
Biotech is improving farming, says English conferenceU.K. 6/18/2001(soyatech) - By 2020 there will be another two billionpeople, mainly in the poorest parts of the world. With population growthoutpacing the capacity to produce food, agriculture has reached acrossroads.Biotechnology has been around since mankind first experienced the joys ofhome brewing. Science has sidestepped the species constraints ofconventional reproduction to find more useful offspring such as the muleor hybrid crops. Horticulturalists have been modifying the genetic make-upof plants for years, in the hope of creating bigger and better crops.Genetic modification is a more specific way of doing this. Faced withdrought, rising temperature and soil infertility, in the years aheadsuccess depends on contemporary science intermingling with traditionalmethods, to enhance productivity without jeopardising ecological security.This was the issue for researchers gathered at Global Agriculture 2020 atthe John Innes Centre in Norwich in April this year.There are many success stories. Dr Luis Herrera-Estrella from Cinvestav,Mexico, is engineering crops to combat climate change and environmentalstresses. Plants are being engineered with 'drought-proofing' genes or totolerate salinity by making 'osmoprotectant' molecules such as trehalose.Others use nutrients more efficiently, reducing fertiliser usage, byexcreting organic acids that release phosphorus from metal complexes ininfertile acidic soils. Access to new technologies and software tools, canspeed up the search for genes involved with stress adaptation, offeringnovel approaches for crop design.Agriculture provides a livelihood for 55% of Indians but crops like urdand green gram frequently suffer losses of 70%. Transgenic technologyoffers a solution. In Mexico, virus-resistant potatoes boosted yields onsmall-scale farms by 46%, and income by 141%, at no extra cost because thetechnology was given by industry. And in Kenya, yields were up by 20-25%using sweet potatoes resistant to viruses or insects.Eight million hectares of cotton are cultivated in India, requiring 50% ofthe country's total pesticide consumption with dire consequences for theenvironment, biodiversity and human health. Despite this, rampant pestsand diseases reduce yields to half the worldwide average. But, fieldtrials of cotton engineered with a bacterial protein that protects againstinsect invaders, raised yields by 40-70% and needed fewer pesticides.At Professor Swaminathan's research institute in Madras, organic farmingflourishes alongside modern methods. A 'designer potato' with enhancedamino acid composition has been engineered to improve its nutritionalvalue. Tobacco that tolerates salinity is a precautionary measure againstthe rising tides a changing climate will bring. This trait can beengineered into food crops. Biological control methods, such as naturallyoccurring plant chemicals or the predator-eats-pest scenario, are alsoused to protect crops.Swaminathan is also encouraging rural communities to embrace new practicesto improve farming. But the technological explosion has seen a digitaldivide develop between those who have access to information technology andthe billions in rural regions of developing countries that do not, a kindof 'technological apartheid' as he calls it.The 'green revolution' of the late 1960s avoided widespread famine,largely by introducing high-yielding, modern semi-dwarf varieties of riceand wheat - shorter, stockier plants support the heads of grain betterthan their lankier relatives. Swaminathan advocates a new, 'evergreenrevolution' through the use of technology, to provide a sustainable globalagriculture and a perennial green revolution in which everyone can share,right down to the poorest farmer in the poorest part of the world.Malnutrition affects about 800 million worldwide - in India, 53% childrenaged under four are underweight, 47-90% are anaemic and millions sufferfrom vitamin A deficiency. 'Golden rice' engineered with vitamin Aprecursors was developed through public funding, not industry, to helpreduce blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency. With the sup port ofSyngenta, free licences for 'humanitarian use' were granted for allintellectual property rights and the rice is free for farmers earning lessthan Dollars 10,000.Widely grown, especially by peasant women, bananas provide 25% of theenergy needs for most Kenyans. Declining yields, due to environmentalstresses, pests and diseases, threatened food security and income for the80% of small-scale farmers in Kenya who provide 90% of the country's food.This prompted scientists from the ISAAA AfriCentre, Nairobi, to work withlocal farmers to offer culturally acceptable solutions. Propagating'clean' seedlings in tissue culture, sterile glass pots until they arehardy enough to transplant to the field has boosted yields.Esther Gacaugu is one farmer reaping the rewards - she has ploughed herincreased income back into her farm, expanding her orchard. She is now agroup leader and distributor of tissue culture-grown plantlets and canafford to educate her children.Progress has always been driven by myriad technological innovations andagriculture faces tough decisions if it is to supply nutritional food tofeed eight billion.Together with traditional practices, the advent of genetic engineering anda wealth of knowledge from genomics resources herald a new renaissance,allowing more food to be produced from less land using less water andfewer chemicals.To the eco-terrorists brandishing their banners shouting 'Save the world',isn't that what science is in a position to do?But as Professor Alan Gray, from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology,said: 'The future of agriculture may actually depend on the ability of thepersuaders.'-by Dr. Claire Cockcroft, Institute of Biotechnology, University ofCambridge.
28299. 19/06/2001
   
Higher Cargo Handling Capacity By Johor Ports
28300. 19/06/2001
   
KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's crude palm oil (CPO) outputrose 6.87 percent to 985,063 tonnes in May this year from 921,709 tonnesin April, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) said here Friday.Out of this, Peninsular Malaysia's production accounted for 630,575tonnes, up 6.47 percent from 592,247 tonnes in April, it said in astatement here today.
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ECONOMICS & INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7803 5544 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533