Univanich Palm Oil Public Company Limited was established on 26th December 1995 as an amalgamation of three of Thailand’s pioneer palm oil companies. The three companies were Thai Oil Palm Industry and Estate Company Limited, Siam Palm Oil and Refinery Industry Company Limited, and Hup Huat Palm Oil Industry Company Limited. The Company was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand on 25th November 2003 under the abbreviation UVAN.
Univanich is one of Thailand’s leading producers of crude palm oil (“CPO”) and crude palm kernel oil (“PKO”). Palm oils are important ingredients in the manufacture of cooking oils and salad oils, margarines and shortening, snack foods, ice creams, soaps, shampoos and cosmetics. Biodiesel and biofuels are rapidly expanding new uses of palm oil. A byproduct from the production of PKO is palm kernel cake (“PKC”) which is used in animal feeds.
The main features of the Company’s business are as follows:
- Univanich operates oil palm plantations in Krabi, Surat Thani, and Nakhon Si Thammarat Provinces of Southern Thailand, with a planted area in 2017 of 37,222 rai (5,955.6 hectares) including 3,612 rai
(578.3 hectares) immature area. The first plantations were established in 1969 and replanting of a new generation of palms commenced in 1992. The Company has now achieved a balanced age profile of palms with approximately 4% of the area routinely replanted each year.
- In 2017, the Company’s own plantations produced 7.3% of the fresh fruit bunches (“FFB”) processed by the Companies factories, with 92.7% of FFB being purchased from independent smallholder farmers. The overall planted area of oil palms in Thailand is expanding rapidly and it is this expansion of small-holder plantings that is fueling the Company’s long-term growth.
- Univanich has five palm oil crushing mills and two palm kernel crushing plants, located in Krabi, Pang-nga and Phatthalung Provinces. In 2017, Univanich factories processed 1,073,063 tonnes of FFB and 48,734 tonnes of palm kernels (PK). Four of the crushing mills operate methane capture systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to generate approximately 7.0 megawatts of renewable electricity for sale to the Provincial Electricity Authority grid.
- Univanich operates a palm oil exporting facility at the deep-water port of Laemphong in Krabi Province.
- The Univanich Oil Palm Research Centre (OPRC) is internationally recognised for pioneering oil palm research and advanced palm breeding. Univanich drought-tolerant hybrid seeds are now exported to oil palm growers in more than fifteen countries. The company’s oil palm nurseries supply annually more than 1.8 million high yielding seedlings to Thailand’s smallholder growers.
- Univanich commissioned Thailand’s first laboratory for oil palm tissue culture in 2006. Since 2010, the company has been testing elite oil palm clones in field trials and in 2016 the company commenced production of clonal seeds from these elite oil palm clones.
- In 2013, Univanich expanded its business to the Philippines by establishing a 51% owned joint venture company named Univanich Carmen Palm Oil Corporation (UCPOC). UCPOC has constructed a new palm oil crushing mill in North Cotabato province of Mindanao. That started processing in July 2014.
- In Thailand, Univanich employs 1,265 people and is professionally managed to an international standard established during 15 years of joint venture with Unilever PLC. From 1983 to 1998, when Unilever held a 51% shareholding in Univanich, the business was managed through Unilever’s International Plantations and Plant Science Group, based in Cambridge, UK.