ASIA – Agricultural commodities trading company Cargill is on a new expansion drive, injecting about US$100 million in the expansion of its Indonesian sweetener plant.

The company has also announced plans of investing another US$20 million in expanding modenizing its palm oil production facility in Port Klang, Malaysia.

Cargill, which holds the title of being America’s largest privately held corporation, explained that the Indonesian sweetener plant expansion was aimed at meeting increasing demand for for corn-based starches, sweeteners and animal feed ingredients.

According to a statement from Cargill , the US$100 million capital will be used to build a new corn wet mill and starch dryer at its Pandaan facility in Indonesia.

The facility which is part of Cargill’s subsidiary Sorini Agro Asia Corporindo was opened in 1983 and currently imports dry starch (tapioca and corn) which it converts into sweeteners, such as glucose, sorbitol and maltodextrin.

With its new corn wet mill, Cargill says it will be able to produce a greater range of corn-based products including sweeteners, corn gluten meal and corn germ.

As a result of these expanded capabilities, Cargill claims it will be better prepared to meet formulation needs for confectionery, dairy and convenience foods.

“With an enhanced product portfolio and substantially more production capacity, we are better positioned to support our customers’ growth plans,” said Franck Monmont, managing director of Cargill Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers (CSST) in Asia.

US$20m upgrade of the palm oil facility

In addition to the Indonesian facility expansion, Cargill announced that it had plans to invest US$20 million to expand and modernise its palm oil production facility in Port Klang, Malaysia.

The project includes upgrading equipment and adding new production technologies, and research and development (R&D) capabilities.

Cargill says that with the improvements, the facility will be able to produce significantly more oils, particularly value-added special palm products.

With expanded capacity, Cargill says that customers from across a range of sectors – including confectionery, bakery and specialised nutrition – are expected to benefit from reduced turnaround times.

The first phase of the project involves moving the production of all lauric oils to another Cargill facility, in order to open up capacity at Port Klang for palm processing.

The second phase consists of upgrading the physical refining plant and palm oil fractionation process at the Port Klang site.

“This investment to expand and modernise our facility in Port Klang enables us to provide high-quality, value-added specialty palm solutions and advanced R&D capabilities for customers in a variety of market segments,” said Gonzalo Petschen, president for Cargill’s global edible oil business.

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