KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Cargill has begun construction on a $35 million expansion of its production plant in Port Klang, Malaysia, part of a broader multi-year, $100 million investment to expand the company’s global portfolio in specialty fats.

“Specialty fats are incredibly popular due to their versatility and functionality,” said Jennifer Shomenta, president and group leader for Cargill’s global edible oils solutions business. “With this investment, we’ll be better positioned to support our customers’ innovation journey, equipped with the building blocks necessary to co-create tailored solutions that align with their unique needs.”

As part of the expansion in Port Klang, Cargill will install dry palm fractionation capacity, enabling the production of a range of specialty fats for use in chocolates, coatings, fillings and compounds, spreads, bakery fats, and other applications. In addition, Cargill said it intends to upgrade its Malaysia Edible Oils R&D Center, enhancing lab equipment and pilot plants to align with the Port Klang facility’s new specialty fat capabilities.

The project comes on the heels of a nearly complete $20 million upgrade to the facility begun just one year prior. As part of that project, Cargill enhanced the facility’s production capacity and completed a first round of updates to its R&D capabilities. The investment in the Port Klang facility aligns with the Malaysian government’s policy encouraging palm oil downstream companies to further move up the palm value chain, positively impacting the economy and creating job opportunities, Cargill said.

“All too often, brands must navigate complicated supply chains to procure their specialty fats, purchasing oil from one supplier, then shipping it to others for further processing,” Ms. Shomenta said. “Through our investments at Port Klang and across our global processing footprint, we’ll eliminate those extra steps, giving customers the convenience of a single, trusted partner, all backed by Cargill’s technical expertise and global resources.”

Cargill said it expects to complete the Port Klang expansion in late 2023, at which time the company will begin supplying finished specialty fats to customers throughout the Asia Pacific region, and semi-finished products to Cargill facilities in Europe, Middle East, Russia, South America and North America.

“This investment will position us to become a leading specialty oil solution provider by improving our capability to co-develop new solutions with customers and address key consumer trends,” said Jonathan Yeo, regional strategy and innovation leader for Cargill’s edible oil business in Asia.

Cargill has been conducting business in Malaysia since 1978. Today, the company’s businesses include vegetable oil refining and production of value-added products, grain and oilseeds distribution, animal nutrition, sales of starches, sweeteners and texturizers as well as sales and marketing of cocoa and chocolate products. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Cargill Malaysia currently employs about 710 people in seven locations countrywide.