KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 8): Ocikumho Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between OCIM Sdn Bhd and South Korea-based Kumho P&B Chemical Inc, will manufacture epichlorohydrin (ECH) at the Samalaju Industrial Park in Sarawak, the first ECH project in Malaysia.

OCIM is a unit of South Korea’s OCI Company.

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) said the manufacturing of ECH in Malaysia would strengthen the value chain of epoxy manufacturers both in South Korea and Malaysia.

ECH is a compound mainly used to produce epoxy resins. Its main applications serve the clean energy market, such as wind, solar, tidal and electricity transmission, providing corrosion protection coatings.

It is also used in the industrial, automotive and packaging industries and as composites in the aerospace industry.

Mida chief executive officer Datuk Arham Abdul Rahman said with a potential investment of more than RM760 million, it sees the project as a catalyst not just in creating new job opportunities for many Malaysians, but also for the development of the country’s clean energy industry.

“Malaysia is fortunate to host global companies like Ocikumho and facilitate their journey to explore opportunities across our economic sectors.

“This will benefit the nation with many new business opportunities for chemical companies where it will support and strengthen the industry ecosystem in Malaysia due to ECH availability,” he said in a joint statement by MIDA and Ocikumho.

The production would have a capacity to produce up to 100 kilotonnes-per-annum (ktpa).

The construction of the facility would commence in the first quarter of 2023, with test operation to start in the first quarter of the following year.

“The presence of Ocikumho in Malaysia will contribute to the Malaysian export market where OCIKUMHO will be exporting 95 per cent of its product from Malaysia to various countries around the world.

“Using bio-based raw materials (glycerine) and tapping into electricity from a hydropower plant in Sarawak, Ocikumho’s plant will be the first to manufacture ECH in Malaysia. This project is anticipated to create 40 per cent job opportunities in the managerial, technical and supervisory roles,” said Mida.  – Bernama