|Malaysia to develop Asia’s largest biorefinery complex in ECER|
|Business & Markets 2012|
|Written by Janice Melissa Thean of theedgemalaysia.com|
|Wednesday, 13 June 2012 16:22|
KUALA LUMPUR (June 13): Asia’s largest biorefinery is to be developed in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) following a strategic collaboration to develop Asia’s largest biorefinery inked on Wednesday between the Terengganu State Government, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) and the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC).
The 1000ha biorefinery complex located at Kertih Biopolymer Park is slated to be fully operational by 2014. In a statement by BiotechCorp, it is said that the total project is expected to generate a cumulative gross national income (GNI) of RM 20.4 billion by 2020 and produce 2,500 green-jobs for Malaysia.
In a statement June 13 issued by BiotechCorp , Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad said Terengganu was rapidly becoming recognised as the state that attracted big bio-businesses.
“The establishment of the complex is ideal for attracting other bio-product technologies to the state and the local populace will stand to benefit economically,” he said.
BiotechCorp said total foreign direct investment (FDI) for the complex was anticipated to be RM6.8 billion.
Its construction will commence in July 2012 and should be operational by early 2014 with an expected occupancy of eight global industrial biotechnology players by 2015.
“This collaboration proves that the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) remains to be an attractive destination for investments among both local and international investors,” said ECERDC chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Jebasingam Issace John.
He said the Kertih Biopolymer Park’s close proximity to the Petronas Kertih Integrated Petrochemical Complex allowed cross supply of products between both complexes, while providing economies of scale for utilities supply and logistics, explained the statement.
“ECERDC will provide the necessary infrastructure, as well as attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for investors at the Park, and we will also leverage on its position in the ECER Special Economic Zone which will serve as the gateway to the Asia Pacific market,” he said.
The biorefinery is a concept of an overall processing plant which integrates technologies necessary to convert and extract biomass feedstock into a spectrum of valuable products and thus maximize the value derived from the biomass feedstock, read the statement.
The industry is on course to shift from conventional fossil fuel to more sustainable bio-based production, and is expected to create circa RM1 trillion in revenue and 800,000 employment opportunities globally by 2030.
“The complex will further create opportunities for technology and science-driven companies in the green chemical sector; which is central to the development of the bio-based economy,” said BiotechCorp CEO Datuk Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal.
“More significantly, it is one of the many crucial initiatives driven by BiotechCorp as a commitment to advance the bio-chemical sector and to secure a targeted RM4 billion of investment in the industrial biotechnology sector by 2013 to drive the Commercialization Phase of the National Biotechnology Policy (NBP),” he said.
BiotechCorp, the lead development agency for biotechnology in Malaysia and ECERDC have been actively engaging several global industry biotechnology players especially from US, Europe, Korea and Japan to set-up their bio-based chemical manufacturing facility in Kertih Biopolymer Park, the statement said.
To date, BiotechCorp and ECERDC have secured a RM2 billion investment from a joint-venture between Korea’s CJ CheilJedang and France’s Arkema to develop the world’s first bio-methionine facility in Kertih Biopolymer Park.
“Infrastructure works by ECERDC at the project site have already been completed and construction of the facility is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2012,” said Issace.