Saturday, January 19, 2008


Enough cooking oil for CNY
Sabah Softwoods CEO says supply won’t be problem


There will be enough cooking oil in Sabah, especially for the Chinese New Year (CNY), despite the reported smuggling of the . commodity and the recent shortage at retail outlets.
“I am certain . that the supply of cooking oil for the Chinese New Year would not be a problem here,” said Haji Osman Walat, the Chief Executive Officer of Sabah Softwoods Berhad (SSB) yesterday.
SSB has planted 20,000 hectares with oil palm and the total hectarage would be expanded in future.
However, Haji Osman said that Sabah Softwood does not market, distribute and retail the crude palm oil (CPO). It is handled by the Malaysia Palm Oil Board. Similarly, Sabah Softwood does not deal with the packaging of cooking oil.
“The output of CPO is guided by the MPOB, basically depending on demand and supply. As for price subsidy, it is based on the market price where a higher price would result in a higher subsidy and it is decided by MPOB,” he said.
SSB was engaged as the main contractor for reafforestation and oil palm development in the Benta Wawasan concession area between 2000 and early 2006. Regional Harvest Sdn Bhd operates a 45-metric ton fresh fruit bunches (ffb) per hour CPO processing mill in Dumpas.
Based on the current capacity, the mill is able to produce an annual output of 54,000 metric tonnes of GPO. The mill has an expansion capacity to 60 metric tons (Mt) ffb per hour and the annual production is expected to increase to 72,000 metric tons of CPO.
In 2002, SSB entered a joint venture for the construction and operation of a GPO mill with an equity participation of 40 percent in Regional Harvest Sdn Bhd. Sabah Softwood is also involved in tree plantations, chipmil operation and other relevant services.