Categories: Industry News
      Date: Aug 15, 2011
     Title: Korean-French JV to build world’s first bio-methionine plant in Malaysia 

A joint venture between South Korea’s CJ Cheiljedang and France’s Arkema (CJ-Arkema) will invest some RM2 billion to build the world’s first bio-methionine plant and Asia’s first thiochemical platform in Malaysia’s Kertih Polymer Park in Terengganu within the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).



A joint venture between South Korea’s CJ Cheiljedang and France’s Arkema (CJ-Arkema) will invest some RM2 billion to build the world’s first bio-methionine plant and Asia’s first thiochemical platform in Malaysia’s Kertih Polymer Park in Terengganu within the East Coast Economic Region (ECER).

Bio-methionine is a sulphur amino acid commonly used for the production of animal feed in Asia.

The project, which will combine development in biotechnology and applied chemistry, is deemed a breakthrough for the global feed additives industry.

Arkema Asia Pacific President, Dominique Namer attributed C J- Arkema’s choice to site the project in the ECER to the attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, location and the availability of human resource.

A statement on the Arkema’s website said Kerteh on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia is an ideal place to build a thiochemical platform and bio-methionine plant as all the necessary infrastructure including onsite bulk port, utilities and raw materials can be easily obtained.

In addition the area is near to the Kuantan and Kemaman container ports.

CJ Asia Executive Vice-President, Jin-Hyun Kim said some US$400 million (RM1.2 billion) or more than half of the investment would be allocated to build the plant.

Construction work on the 80,000-tonne bio-methionine plant on a 70ha site in the park is scheduled to begin in mid-2012 with production slated for 2013.

The project is expected to create over 470 new jobs.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who witnessed the announcement yesterday, said the project would generate some RM20 billion in sales by 2020.

He pointed out that it would be a significant economic boost to the ECER particularly to the Kertih Polymer Park within the region as the project would generate significant multiplier effects and promote new economic activities including steam generation using renewable resources.

Malaysian Biotechnology Corp (BiotechCorp) Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Dr Nazlee Kamal said the investment was a major step for Malaysia as a regional knowledge- intensive and cost-effective industrial biotechnology hub.

East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Jebasingam Issace John said with the Government offering incentives and putting in place the required infrastructure as well as land at competitive prices, it is the right time for investors to come to Malaysia.

To-date, ECER have worked on projects with investments of some RM48 billion of which some RM20 billion mainly in the oil and gas, agricultural, tourism and manufacturing industries have been realised, he said.

With the latest project, ECERDC expects to exceed its annual investment target of RM5 billion by October, he added.

Korean Stock Exchange-listed CJ is a leading global producer of fermentation-based products such as feed amino acids, MSG and nucleotides and has manufacturing and business operations in six continents.

Meanwhile, Euronext Paris Exchange-listed Arkema is France’s leading chemicals producer with operations in over 40 countries across Europe, Asia, North America and Australia.

Adapted from New Straits Times and StarBiz 13 Aug 2011 and Arkema website