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Wed, 05/18/2016 - 10:28
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Algaetech International To Commence Work On Brunei Astaxanthin Production Facility By Year-End

By Nurhafizah Ghazali and Nurunnasihah Ahmad Rashid KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 (Bernama) -- Malaysian BioNexus-status company, Algaetech International Sdn Bhd, is looking to commence construction of its second astaxanthin production facility in Brunei by year-end. Managing Director Syed Isa Syed Alwi said : "We are now finalising the signing of the contract agreement before commencing groundbreaking." Astaxanthin, derived from a type of microalgae called haematococcus pluvialis, is recognised as a powerful antioxidant and found in certain marine plants and animals. Syed Isa told Bernama, the Brunei facility will be built on a 2.023 hectare (five acre) site, leased from the Brunei Economic Development Board. "The new plant costs slightly more than the US$6.69 million (RM27 million) Malaysian factory and will take a year to complete," he said. (US$1 = RM4.03) On investments, he said the company had spent RM10 million over the past six years to undertake product research and development (R&D) for all of its technologies. "For astaxanthin, almost RM30 million was spent on the production facilities and more will be invested, with another new plant coming in the future. "This year, RM15 million has been set aside for capital expenditure, mainly for value-added machineries, infrastructure and completion of the Malaysian factory," he said. Syed Isa said the Malaysian facility is at present 80 per cent complete and expected to be ready by year-end. In 2014, Algaetech International was invited by the Brunei government to build the astaxanthin production plant at the Salambigar Industrial Park. The company's first factory is sited at the Technology Park Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. "The new facility will enable the Brunei government to explore new sectors, particularly in pharmaceuticals, to reduce the nation's dependency on oil and gas. "The plant will double our production to seven tonnes of astaxanthin biomass per month," said Syed Isa. Algaetech International is a pioneer in the algae technology industry, specialising in R&D, algae consulting services, production as well as commercialisation of algae-derived high value products. The astaxanthin super antioxidant has proven potential in reducing the risk of cancer, increase endurance and muscle recovery, and even contains anti-ageing abilities. --BERNAMA