Amid the uproar over the European Union’s (EU) discriminatory move against palm oil, one player in the Malaysian palm oil downstream sector seems unperturbed and is in fact expecting better demand for its products this year from European clients.
Gamalux Oils Sdn Bhd, which makes feedstock materials for biodiesel and animals, projects its export sales to top RM100 million this year, a growth of about 30 per cent from 2018. And Europe will be key to that growth. Established in October 2009, the export-oriented company has built a reputation in green technology, being a pioneer in solvent extraction technologies from renewable energy (palm oil base products).
Chief Executive Usman Ahmed said 80 per cent of its output was exported to European countries such as Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Scandinavian region. The rest goes to South Korea and China.
“The company recorded RM80 million sales last year and is on track to achieve this year’s higher target based on the demand shown by its existing clients, particularly those in the European sector,” he told Bernama in an interview.
Gamalux’s products, which originate 100 per cent from waste vegetable oils, had become much sought-after in the sustainable market, Usman said.
According to him, the company is not affected by the EU’s call to ban palm oil, as it is not in the main stream of edible palm oil but more in the collection of wastes to value add.
“We basically use green technology to recycle all the wastes out there.”
“With certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification and National Italian Scheme, to name a few, and with the new European sustainability policies, it has given us an advantage to gain more access to the market,” he explained.
The company’s two manufacturing plants are strategically located in Lahad Datu, the industrial capital of Sabah, one of the biggest crude palm oil producers among the states in Malaysia. This enables Gamalux to get sufficient materials from palm oil refineries and mills to produce its sustainable feedstock.
The plants, a solvent extraction plant and a specialised physical refinery, have a capacity of 400 tonnes per day (TPD) and 300 TPD, respectively.
Usman said with the current utilisation rate of 70 per cent, production can be further increased to meet the increasing demand.
He added that the company had also allocated RM16 million in capital expenditure this year for the physical refinery’s capacity expansion.