First methanol shipment at POIC
Published on: Friday, August 30, 2019
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LAHAD DATU: POIC Port here successfully handled its first shipment of methanol and earned its strips as a facility capable of dealing hazardous industrial chemicals.

MT Nylex 1 brought in a shipment of 1,500 metric tonnes of methanol from Bontang, Indonesia for a plant owned by Genting Group that produces biodiesel from palm oil.

Methanol, a combustible product from natural gas, chemically reacts with palm oil to produce ester, or biodiesel. Typically, one-part methanol is needed to produce 10 parts of biodiesel.

There are two biodiesel plants here, under the Genting flagship and they combined for about 300,000 metric tons of biodiesel per annum. Some are exported and some blended with locally consumed diesel.

Its Spokesman, Vice President (Processing) for Genting Biodiesel Sdn Bhd, Vijayam Manikam said the company previously trucked its methanol supply from Sandakan. “Bringing in methanol by ship and pumping it straight to storage is efficient and cost-saving, and we are grateful for POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd for the facilities”, he said on Wednesday.

“The successful handling of the methanol shipment at our liquid jetty is proof of the reliability of our facilities, including the pipe rack system that allows the methanol to be transferred safely from the vessel to the plant,” said Chee Sai Kee, the Manager of the POIC Port.

POIC Port comprises terminals for dry and liquid bulk as well as a container cargo. The dry bulk terminal went into operation in 2013 and handles mostly mixed fertilizer components. Its container terminal which is funded by the Federal government is awaiting the arrival of the first container vessel early next month.

POIC Port, developed at an estimated cost of RM1 billion, is owned and operated by the Sabah state government through POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd, a promoter of palm oil downstream, port & logistics, oil & gas industries and SMI at the Lahad Datu palm oil industrial cluster.

The State government sees POIC Lahad Datu and its port as an important player in realising the state’s ambition to substantially increase the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the next 10 years.

In Kota Kinabalu yesterday (Aug 29) POIC Sabah signed a Port Collaboration Agreement with Indonesia Port Corporation (IPC). IPC, an entity wholly owned by the Indonesian government, controls 12 ports in the Indonesian archipelago. One of them, the Tanjung Priok port, which is also the largest of all the 4 ‘Pelindo” ports handled 7.64 million containers in 2018, making it the No. 22nd biggest container port in the world. At No. 1 spot is Shanghai with 42 million TEUs, and Malaysia’s Port Klang is at No 12 with 12.32 million TEUs.

Broadly, collaboration between POIC and Pelindo 2 will be in the areas of: Business investment, covering joint participation in exhibition, fairs, business forums, joint meeting and activities,  ‘smart’ technology exchanges such as sharing of technological exchanges and information, cyber  and security, Data interchange such as future trade flows and marketing strategies, modernization of equipment and improvements, market studies.  And, training and employee exchanges.


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