Kuala Lumpur, 16 July 2016 - With reference to recent statements quoted in the media, Sime Darby Plantation would like to clarify the following:
The Company has been cooperating with the authorities including the Department of Environment, Badan Kawalselia Air Johor and Syarikat Air Johor since Wednesday, 13 July 2016. Our checks have shown that there was no physical evidence of Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME) being the cause of contamination.
To further confirm that fact as well as to rule out the possibility of contamination from fertilizer application in our estate, the Company has taken water samples from various points in both Sungai Remis and Sungai Sayong (both lead into Sungai Johor) and tested them at its own R&D labs. The results and physical verification conducted on the site indicate that indeed there was no clear evidence the mill or the estate could be the cause of ammonia contamination. In the interest of transparency and open disclosure, Sime Darby Plantation will update the authorities on these results and assist them in further investigation.
Sime Darby Plantation would like to confirm that the Company had received a Notice of 60-day Suspension of License for its Ulu Remis Palm Oil Mill from the Department of Environment of Johor on 14 July 2016. The Notice was issued due to an overflow of treated POME in 1 out of 109 field furrows. Furthermore, these effluent overflow traces have been contained and captured by our field control trenches to ensure there were no spillages into any waterways. The notice was issued to rectify this 1 furrow, which, as of July 16th, has been done.
Sime Darby Plantation will continue to cooperate fully with the local authorities to determine the actual cause of high ammonia content in Sungai Johor. The Company is committed to protecting the environment and conserving biodiversity through sustainable development. This is a prime consideration in all aspects and stages of our plantation operations.