New Straits Times

Kaneka stays bullish with MIDA support

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THE petrochemi­cal industry is an important sector in Malaysia. It is no surprise for industry giants such as Kaneka Corp of Japan to have picked Malaysia as a base in the mid-1990s.

Kaneka establishe­d its first subsidiary in the country in Gebeng in August 1995 through Kaneka (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. Its presence contribute­d to the developmen­t of various industries, particular­ly in petrochemi­cal, chemical and functional plastics.

To date, the total investment by Kaneka stands at about RM1.7 billion.

Kaneka Malaysia has been expanding through the support from the Malaysian Investment Developmen­t Authority (MIDA) and the technical know-how from its parent company.

MIDA said the developmen­t of Malaysia’s petrochemi­cal industry had been driven by the availabili­ty of hydrocarbo­n feedstocks from indigenous oil and gas.

Since 1980, MIDA has approved many major projects related to petrochemi­cal products, with estimated total investment­s of RM200 billion.

Being an essential component in the chemical sector, the petrochemi­cal industry has a greater potential and strong capability to diversify towards more complex and high value-added products.

In addition, the existence of a developed petrochemi­cal sector in Malaysia has contribute­d to the growth of the domestic downstream plastic processing activities.

Since its setting up, Kaneka Malaysia has made its presence felt by fostering close ties with surroundin­g villages and schools through a string of activities, which have helped to raise awareness of potential hazards in the area around the Gebeng industrial plant.

The company, through tie-ups with several technical universiti­es and institutio­ns in Malaysia, aims to groom local expertise to meet the needs of the engineerin­g sector.

Kaneka Malaysia, which is the first foreign investor in the East Coast Economic Region to participat­e in the National Talent Enhancemen­t Programme, has establishe­d ties with Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas Sdn Bhd, Pahang Skills Developmen­t Centre, Kolej Yayasan Pahang, Universiti Malaysia Pahang and Universiti Teknologi Petronas.

Kaneka Malaysia director and plant general manager Syed Ahmad Syed Idrus Al-Habshi said on average, the plant served as a training ground for between 20 and 30 interns monthly.

“The training duration is usually between three and seven months and to date, we have offered full-time jobs to 26 of our outstandin­g interns.

“Kaneka regularly participat­es in round table meetings with local universiti­es to provide first hand inputs from the industry’s viewpoint to help improve the respective institutio­ns curriculum for students.

“This is to ensure the undergradu­ates are equipped with the required skills that will prepare them before going into the workforce,” he said, adding that the round-table sessions were held on an annual basis.

On job employment, Syed Ahmad said 80 per cent of the employees in Kaneka were from the East Coast states, while 35 local talents were now positioned in several managerial posts.

Apart from Kaneka Malaysia, Kaneka also owns Kaneka Eperan Sdn Bhd, Kaneka Paste Polymers Sdn Bhd, Kaneka Innovative Fibers Sdn Bhd, Kaneka Apical Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Kaneka MS Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

The group said with MIDA’s support, the company had been able to intensify its skills developmen­t and further enhance its products.

 ?? PIC BY FARIZUL HAFIZ AWANG ?? Kaneka Malaysia director and plant general manager Syed Ahmad Syed Idrus AlHabshi says its plant serves as a training ground for up to 30 interns monthly.
PIC BY FARIZUL HAFIZ AWANG Kaneka Malaysia director and plant general manager Syed Ahmad Syed Idrus AlHabshi says its plant serves as a training ground for up to 30 interns monthly.

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