Oils and Fats Industry’s Outlook on the Ongoing Pandemic


Jakob Helms

Jakob Helms, CEO of JJ-Lurgi, oversees the Malaysia-based life sciences business unit of Jebsen & Jessen Group and has done so since 2012. Having worked in Asia for over 26 years in the fields of engineering solutions and plant marketing, he brings with him a deep understanding of the region and a wide breadth of knowledge and experience. Jakob joined Jebsen & Jessen Group in 2000 at the engineering division before transferring to JJ-Lurgi as its General Manager in 2002. Before his time at JJ-Lurgi, Jakob developed his career at a Danish multinational engineering company. A Danish national, Jakob holds a Masters

degree from the Technical University of Denmark.




1. With more than 20 years of experience, could you share with us JJ-Lurgi’s history and background?

JJ-Lurgi is a joint venture between diversified industrial conglomerate, Jebsen & Jessen Group and Air Liquide. Established in 1992, JJ-Lurgi is a full-fledged engineering practice and leading innovator in the field of oils & fats, oleochemicals, and biodiesel. With engineering roots in Germany, we contract locally for our markets in Asia and have developed new generations of in-house expertise attuned to our clients’ particular needs. With more than 20 years of experience, we are able to provide insights into the nuances of oleochemical engineering culture, influencing our current work philosophy and future endeavors.


Our business has transformed over the years to become a full-fledged engineering practice today that is among the strongest in the region, successfully delivering more than 300 plants across South East Asia, China and beyond. Strategically located in Malaysia, Indonesia and China, our wide network and deep knowledge of the region, coupled with our state-of-the-art technology and engineering expertise, allow us to respond quickly to our customers’ needs and build a sustainable future for our partnerships.


We continually invest in our organizational infrastructure and competence which enables us to fulfill our commitment to our customers. Research and development are consistent elements of our work, helping us to continuously offer new concepts and enhanced solutions to our customers.


atty acid and fatty alcohol complex in Dumai, Indonesia

Solvent extraction plant in China

2. How does JJ-Lurgi compete with other similar market players to ensure the technologies and processes are up-to-date and relevant in the market?

At JJ-Lurgi, we provide innovative technologies for industries such as Edible Oil Extraction, Oil Refining, Fats Modification, Oleochemicals and Methylester (Biodiesel) that focus on the processing of renewable raw materials, including oil seeds, edible oil, oleochemicals and biofuels. We also offer expertise in the areas of process development, detailed plant engineering, global sourcing and plant upgrading.


We are able to differentiate ourselves by designing solutions that optimize resource utilization and create efficient processes that factor in the impact of the plant on people and the environment. Consistent research and development has always been a core element of our work, allowing us to continuously offer new concepts and enhanced solutions to our customers while ensuring existing technologies and processes are updated and relevant.


As a testament to our R&D core and capabilities, last year, we debuted our Twin-Track Sliding Cell Extractor that is the first of its kind globally and multi-seed capable. It is capable of capacities above 5000 tonnes per day, maximizes oil extraction, and grants improved energy efficiency; with a unique mild vacuum technology that lowers the hexane content in wet meals and reduces the live steam consumption at the DTDC (desolventising, toasting, drying, and cooling) stage. We have also successfully commissioned the Twin-Track Sliding Cell Extractor in our largest extraction plant project which has helped our partner achieve a 20% and 30% reduction in steam and hexane consumption respectively, as compared to plants of

similar scope.


Further improvements have also been made to our glycerine distillation technology by introducing a heat recovery unit for improved steam and cooling water consumptions of the plant. We also managed to lower the vacuum motive steam consumption.


Oleochemical complex in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia

As part of the Jebsen & Jessen Group and a joint venture with Air Liquide, a world leader in the industry, we bring the best of both worlds - world class, high-quality solutions, innovations and technologies that are adapted and localized to the region and leverages distribution expertise through an extensive network and understanding of local markets. Over the years, we have built our reputation and trust among customers based on our projects’ reliability, success, and performance. From supplying and working on the largest plant for edible oil refinery and biodiesel, to oleochemicals and solvent extraction, we provide the best for our clients and their businesses.


Installation stage of an oleochemical plant project in Malaysia

Palm oil refinery in South Kalimantan, Indonesia

3. 2020 was a challenging year for most of the industries in the world due to the outbreak of the COVID-19. Despite the economic state last year, the palm oil industry managed to perform well and was the largest produced vegetable oil in 2020. Does JJ-Lurgi experience any turn of events from this?