KANGAR, Sept 5 — The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) hopes to bring in more investors into Perlis to spur its economy, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
The Miti minister met with the Perlis mentri besar earlier today and discussed investment opportunities in the northern state.
“I just had a discussion with the Perlis Mentri Besar before this on collaborations between the state and federal to bring more investors into Perlis,” he said in his speech when visiting Fermpro Sdn Bhd, the largest manufacturing plant in the state.
He said Perlis has the potential to attract investors in terms of its natural resources and also in terms of skilled human resource.
“We have a university here to train up more people in engineering so this can attract quality investments into Perlis,” he said.
Azmin also announced the approval of a manufacturing license for Fermpro to expand and produce more ethanol at its original plant.
“This company has applied for a license to expand with an initial investment of RM20 million and an additional RM10 million in the near future,” he said.
“I was informed by Malaysian Investment Development Authority that the license application for expansion and production of ethanol was approved with immediate effect,” he added.
He hoped the approval for the expansion will create more job opportunities and contribute towards the economy in Perlis.
He said the approval for Fermpro to produce more ethanol would help meet the increasing demand for ethanol due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier, Fermpro Managing Director Datuk Siew Ka Wei said the plant obtained its first manufacturing license from Miti nearly 35 years ago.
He said since then, the plant has grown and it was upgraded end of last year to increase its ethanol production capacity from 3.5 million litres to 5 million litres per year.
He said with the additional RM20 million investment, the ethanol production will be increased to 10 million litres per year.
“We hope that this investment will serve as a springboard for other investors to invest in Perlis,” he said.
He said the expansion is timely as there is a high demand for ethanol, a component used in the production of hand sanitisers.
“Presently, 15 to 20 million litres of ethanol are imported so we want to produce more to meet local demand,” he said.
Siew thanked Miti, the federal government and the state government for making it possible for Fermpro to expand its manufacturing operations.
Fermpro, under the Nylex Group Berhad, was established in Chuping, Perlis in 1985.
It is the largest tax contributor in Perlis and was established next to a sugar cane plantation as it produces ethanol through the fermentation of molasses.
The ethanol produced is used in both industrial and household products including sanitisers, disinfectants, cleaning solvents and printing ink.