United Malacca to Increase Fresh Fruit Bunch Output

PLANTATION firm United Malacca Bhd (2593)plans to boost annual fresh fruit bunch

(FFB) production by a tenth over the next few years as its young oil

palm trees mature.

The group, which produces about 280,000

tonnes of FFB a year, also plans to buy more land and continue with its

replanting programme.

It bought two plots of land with the

combined size of 10,125ha in Kinabatangan, Sabah, for RM240 million last

year and plans to invest RM100 million over the next few years to

develop them.

“Half of the land (in Kinabatangan) has already

been planted with young elite palms between one and five years old, we

will be developing the other half of the land over the next few years.

“I believe the production will increase when the young palms start to

produce,” said managing director Leong Tat Thim after the launch of its

coffee table book in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Overall, about 91

per cent of its estates have trees that are less than 15 years old.

United Malacca is also eyeing land in Kinabatangan as well as

Indonesia.

“There are a lot of pieces of land around our

plantation at Kinabatangan, expanding that would have its benefits, as

it’s around the same area and can save costs on logistics.

“As

for expansion into the Indonesian market, we were in talks with a party

last year, but it did not go well for us. So, we abandoned the idea.

But, nevertheless, we are still looking… If opportunity arise, we will

consider,” added Leong.

Source : Business Times

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