CRUDE oil processor, Agumil Phils. Inc., is expected to start putting up its P360 million refinery in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) within the year, a senior investments official said.
Agumil, a joint undertaking of Malaysian and Filipino investors, has applied with Armm’s Board of Investments in March 2006 and was subsequently issued registration the same year.
Nemesio S. Mana-ay, Armm-BOI technical division chief, said Agumil has now about 600 to 700 hectares of oil palm plantation in Buluan, Maguindanao through an outgrowership planting scheme.
“Based on Agumil’s time-table that was submitted to our office, they should be building the processing plant this year also in Buluan town,” he said.
At full capacity, the refinery can accommodate about 45 tons per hour of fresh fruit bunches of oil palm, he added.
Mana-ay noted that Agumil’s presence in Armm, the nation’s poorest region, would boost the oil palm industry in the country considering the shortage of supply.
Agumil also maintains oil palm plantations in neighboring Sultan Kudarat but harvests are brought to Agusan del Sur for processing into palm oil.
The two other palm oil mills in Mindanao are the Kenram Industrial Development, Inc, which is also based in Sultan Kudarat province, and Filipina Palmoil Plantations, Inc. in Agusan del Sur.
Mana-ay pointed out that Agumil’s plan to establish a refinery in Buluan would significantly reduced transport costs of farmers contracted by the firm to cultivate oil palm trees.
From Maguindanao to Agusan del Sur, travel time is estimated to be not less than six hours, passing through the Davao region.
Sultan Kudarat Gov. Pax Mangudadatu earlier told reporters that Agumil is bent on constructing a palm oil mill in Buluan town, the next town after President Quirino, Sultan Kudarat.
“There’s a 20-hectare lot in Buluan where Agumil would construct its processing plant,” he said.
The governor said, however, that Agumil will construct the plant after some 2,000 hectares of oil palm will be planted in Buluan and adjoining areas.
Mangudadatu said that in adjacent Columbio, which is under Sultan Kudarat province, oil palm plantations have been opening up.
The target in Columbio town is 6,000 hectares, with the governor failing to disclose how much has been consumed to date.
Mangudadatu’s province is known for its oil palm industry, one of the top priority investment areas pushed by local government leaders.
Palm oil is the processed product of oil palm tree. Palm oil’s unique composition makes it versatile in its application in food manufacturing and in the chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
In the food industry, palm oil is the choice for manufacturing solid fat products. Palm oil olein and stearin are popularly used worldwide in making margarine, shortenings and confectionery, and in frying snack foods.
Palm oil is also used in the manufacture of soaps, detergents and other surfactants. It is a good raw material for producing oleochemicals, fatty acids, fatty alcohols, glycerol and other derivatives.
Information from: www.sunstar.com.ph