ISLAMABAD - Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV), the world’s third largest edible oil company from Malaysia, is planning to invest RM 42 million (Rs 1.32 billion) to develop and build an oil factory in Pakistan.

This was stated by the company president and chief executive officer, Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah in an interview with a Malaysian daily following his return from a recent visit to Pakistan.

During his two-day visit arranged by Pakistan Mission in Kuala Lumpur, Mavani as the head of a three-member delegation visited Karachi and Islamabad and met a number of senior government officials and ministers, including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to explore possibilities of further expanding the company’s business in Pakistan.

Pakistan High Commissioner to Malaysia who met the Malaysian delegation before their departure to Pakistan and also on return to Kuala Lumpur welcomed Felda’s announcement to increase its investments substantially in Pakistan.

He said the company had also agreed to lease 30,000 hectares of land in the coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan for palm oil plantation and a technical delegation of the company would soon visit Pakistan in this regard. In his statement, FGV President and Chief Executive Officer Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said their group was already in Pakistan as a joint venture partner with Westbury Group from Pakistan and two Malaysian companies e.g. KLK and IOI, in two major projects located in the Port Qasim Area Karachi.

One of the projects called MAPAK Qasim Bulkers (Pvt.) Limited (MQB) is involved in the handling and storage of edible oil, non-edible oil and molasses since March, 1995; while the other project called MAPAK Edible Oils (Pvt.)

Limited (MEO) has resulted in a state-of-the-art edible oil refinery set up in April, 2006. The edible oil refinery is built on 12 acres of land and is the largest privately-owned edible oil refinery in which production is about 1,200 tonnes of processed oil per day.

Emir Mavani Abdullah said their company together with Westbury had planned to add another 40,000 tonnes of bulk capacity to expand services at MAPAK Qasim Bulkers beyond the requirements of the local filter.

“Therefore, Qasim Bulkers MAPAK is a potential distribution hub for the region, including the nearby Western Asia and Africa,” he said. To a question, he said Felda together Westbury Group was also building a plant in Port Qasim to squeeze sunflower seeds and canola that will be processed into crude products and refined in the factory.

The MAPAK has allocated an investment of RM 27 million (Rs 864 million) to build the plant, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Its extraction will have a capacity of 300 tons per day. Emir said FGV was currently buying seeds from Canada to plant its crops in the country.

“We plan to streamline the group’s operations in Canada to buy seeds from there and process them in the new factory in Pakistan for economical value,” he added.