August 4, 2011


JEFI to collaborate with the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority



JEFI AquaTech Resources Sdn Bhd (JEFI) is looking to spend MYR375 million (US$126.4 million) on a joint shrimp-farming endeavour with the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA).


The scheme is the first of its kind in Malaysia and its objective is to grow JEFI's export-based business locally.


The JEFI Shrimp Project entails building an AquaTech Centre and shrimp farms within the Malaysian peninsular.


An AquaTech Centre spanning 10 ac is already under construction at the Penang Science Park. It is the first phase of the project and will be operational in Q1 2012; it will produce 30 tonnes daily at full capacity with a frozen warehouse storage ability of 1,000 tonnes.


As well, the centre will host scientists, aquaculture researchers, bio-technologists and other professionals.


Phase two will consist of developing shrimp farms in multiple states now finalising the company's request for land. JEFI, a 100% export-based company, intends to end up with 2,000 ac of land for farms.


Once the AquaTech Centre is up and running, the firm will provide local farmers with the latest technical and bio-technological support so they can operate shrimp ponds at the AquaTech Farms optimally. JEFI will package and export the shrimp.


"We are investing a bulk of MYR300 million (US$101.1 million) into the farms and the remaining MYR75 million (US$25.3 million) to the centre. These allocations are for the hardware, software and R&D for both phases," CEO Tan Beng Jeen said.


JEFI expects to spawn a total of 800 jobs while producing 2,000 agro-entrepreneurs when fully implemented.


JEFI and NCIA's collaboration will make the Northern Region Corridor Economic Development (NCER) the centre of operations for the venture.


NCIA Chief Executive Datuk Redza Rafiq believes NCER is ideal for aquaculture thanks to its 700 km-coastline enveloping diverse marine species and fresh water, Bernama reports.


"With an ecosystem that has evolved over 40 years, the NCER is an ideal location for the project as it carries the experience, logistics capabilities and resources to support the sustainability," he said.


NCIA's help will allow the project to give Malaysia a boost and turn it into a leading exporter of shrimp, Tan said.


The company will explore the domestic supply market once the production capacity can sustain export markets.


Rafiq said that three other similar aquaculture projects are taking place in the region: Sg Selingsing with an investment of MYR150 million (US$50.5 million); Sg Menghulu with MYR15 million (US$5.1 million); and Sg Kerang with MYR24.6 million (US$8.3 million).

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