KUALA LUMPUR: Sand Nisko Capital Bhd’s (SNC) wholly-owned subsidiary Len Cheong Resources Sdn Bhd (LCR) today signed a joint venture agreement (JVA) with Mutiara Mahajuta Sdn Bhd (MMSB) for dual-phase development on a 162-acre land in Alor Gajah, Melaka.

The first phase of development entails the right to plant oil palm, rubber trees, fruit trees or forest trees with higher yields, while phase two is to develop the land into a mixed development project.

MMSB, representing a group of individual landowners, has 30 years of land rights, with an option to extend for an additional fifteen years.

SNC managing director Emily Sow Mei Chet said under the first phase, this joint venture will establish a sustainable aquaponics solar farm on it while the mixed development in the second phase consists of residential, commercial and industrial buildings.

According to Emily, the project consists of three components, namely aquaponics farm, which combines aquaculture with hydroponics farming, the solar photovoltaic energy generation facility with a capacity of up to 100MW and the setting-up of a dedicated agro-tourism centre that is complete with farm, fruit orchard and marketplace.

The total land available in the area is around 500 acres, of which SNC has secured about 162 acres with this JV.

Emily noted that the untapped lands provide an excellent opportunity for SNC to enlarge the company’s total land acreage in the future.

“It is a very strategic move for SNC as we can lock in the greenfield land earlier and still enjoy the benefits from the land’s cultivation into brownfield agriculture land before the final conversion into a mixed development project.

“Given the strategic location of the land, which is accessible within 20 minutes to the Simpang Ampat Highway to Kuala Lumpur, 15 minutes drive to Alor Gajah, 15 minutes drive to Taman Cheng, and 15 to 20 minutes drive to Malacca town,” Emily said in a statement.

From the environmental, social and governance (ESG) perspective, the joint venture project offers a good opportunity for SNC to reduce its carbon footprint.

She said the aquaponics farm and agro-tourism centre is also expected to open doors for jobs and encourage entrepreneurship, especially among the local communities, as it attracts more foreign tourists into the area.

On top of that, SNC’s involvement in the agriculture business also allows the company to contribute to national food security, in line with the country’s National Agrofood Policy 2021-2030.

The project is expected to bring long-term earnings visibility for SNC and ensure financial stability for the company.

SNC intends to fund the project via a combination of internally generated funds, bank borrowings, and other fund-raising exercises for the company and its subsidiaries.

For the long-term, this dual-phase development project will put SNC at the forefront of both the agriculture and property development segment.

Source: NewStraitsTimes, NST Business/December 1, 2021

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