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Friday, November 16, 2007

Seal to build eco-industrial park

PENANG: Seal Inc Bhd, which has about RM52mil cash after the completion of its restructuring exercise, will use part of it to develop an eco-industrial park in Kelantan and complete a RM20.5mil commercial project in Permatang Pauh.

It was also identifying new business opportunities and scouting for suitable land for residential and commercial projects, group executive director Fang Siew Hong told StarBiz.

For the eco-industrial park in Kuala Krai, Seal planned next year to develop about 120 light industrial buildings on a 15-acre site.

“The buildings, with an estimated gross sales value of RM50mil, are designed for the bird’s nest cultivation business and other commercial uses,” she added.

About RM2mil would go towards setting up a veneer manufacturing plant in Kelantan, Fang said.

“The plywood produced would be for the export market. The veneer manufacturing business complements our current core business in timber logging in Kelantan and Kedah,” she said.

Fang said the two-year restructuring involved the disposal of land in Seberang Prai and a shopping mall in Selangor under a sale and lease back arrangement.

“The disposal of these properties generated about RM150mil, which was used to settle the group’s borrowings, thus reducing the gearing to less than 4% or RM5mil from 58% or RM80mil previously.

“We are left with RM52mil for working capital and security deposit,” she said.

On Seal’s timber logging business, Fang said it had the concession to log a 10,000-acre site in Kelantan and a 1,000-acre site in Kedah.

“Since January, the group has logged about 7,500 tonnes of timber, with an estimated value of about RM6mil. The timber is sold to plywood factories, sawmills and the furniture industry in the country,” she said.

By The Star (By David Tan)

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