Sime darby pumps cash into veg oils research

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sime darby Fat Innovation Palm oil

Sime darby pumps cash into veg oils research
Sime Darby has dedicated 34m euros to new facilities, of which a significant amount has been spent on the European innovation centre in the Netherlands it launched last month.

The centre will be used to develop its range of vegetable oil-based ingredients for manufacturers and includes pilot scale (about 250kg) oil processing kit to make prototype vegetable oil and fat formulations.

The centre will add to Sime Darby's innovation hubs in Boksburg, South Africa, and Johor, Malaysia. It also includes laboratory space, analytical equipment, a research and development kitchen, an oil processing pilot plant and a new loading hall for trucks delivering products to customers.

Gerhard de Ruiter, the head of Sime Darby's innovation centres, said the Netherlands base would help cut costs and sustain supplies to customers in Europe. "It is an important next step in the execution of our global strategy to serve our customers, for whom integrated partnerships for better and quicker product innovation at the lowest cost are paramount."

De Ruiter said the centre differed from the company's other global innovation centres. "This innovation centre is the first centre within the Sime Darby group which is entirely focused on the product innovation process to serve food customers.

"This results from the company's strategy to broaden and expand its strong research and development track record by translating fundamental knowledge of the chemistry, physics and processing of vegetable oils and fats into added value for customers."

De Ruiter said the centre was part of a larger investment programme of 34m euros, which included 20,000t of additional tank space. Other new facilities included a factory with enzyme technology capabilities for the production of a new generation of hard stocks for all types of margarines, with a capacity of 100,000t."