China National Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs Import & Export Corp, or Cofco, is to buy a majority stake in an edible oil facility in Xinjiang for 160m yuan (US$19.3m).

Company officials said the acquisition marked Cofco's first venture in the country's West, reported Dow Jones Commodities Service.

Cofco will take over operations at the Tianbao Green Food company from the provincial government's asset-management department.

Officials at Cofco's North Sea Grains & Oil Industry subsidiary said the acquisition would boost the company's annual edible oil production capacity to 100,000 metric tons by 2007, compared to the current 50,000 tons.