EDIBLE oil products maker Hop Hing Holdings is diversifying and expanding its activities in China by moving into the power generation sector and increasing its edible oil interests. The company has acquired a 37.5 per cent interest in Universal Energy, a company incorporated in Bermuda. Universal has a 51 per cent interest in a power station in Haicheng, in northern Liaoning province. With a capacity of 26 megawatts and fuelled by low-grade coal, the station produces electricity and heat for a district heating network. It is scheduled to be commissioned early next year. Hop Hing's investment in the power project is less than 15 per cent of its net tangible assets, while total investment in China accounts for 20 per cent of net tangible assets. Hop Hing chose Haicheng because of its market potential and abundant coal supplies, the company said. Liaoning is China's most developed industrial province, while Haicheng is located south of Shenyang which has a population of more than two million. Meanwhile, Hop Hing is scheduled to open its second edible oil refinery on the mainland in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, next month. The company opened its first plant in Pinghu in April. Both plants will be fully operative by July, 12 months after the start of initial negotiations. Together the plants will have a minimum annual production capacity of 30,000 tonnes of edible oils. Hop Hing also plans to set up a large edible oil storage facility and terminal facilities at a 70,000-sq-metre site in the Pearl River delta area and a pier to accommodate oil tankers. The company has also signed a letter of intent for a joint venture in central China with an established edible oil refinery. The venture will have an annual extraction capacity of 150,000 tonnes and an annual refining capacity of 45,000 tonnes.