South Korea-based food processor CJ CheilJedang Corp. and France-based chemical producer Arkema SA have partnered to build the world's first bio-methionine plant to produce animal feed in Malaysia. 

Construction of the RM2 billion (US$675.4 million) plant will begin mid-2012, with operations expected to start in the latter part of 2013, according to the companies. The plant will have a production capacity of 80,000 metric tons per year.

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In addition, the plant will generate significant spill-over effects and encourage new economic activities such as steam generation using renewable resources, according to Malaysia Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. "This project will be a significant economic boost to the [East Coast Economic Region] and more importantly the special economic zone," he said.