Industry News
Malaysia Looks to Utililze Biomass Resources
6 years, 1 month ago Posted in: Industry News 0

BANGI, June 23, 2011 – SOURCE: Malaysian National News Agency

With an abundant supply of biomass, there is still room for the industry to economically exploit it further to harness for biocomposite products, biofuel and bioenergy.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, said 19.5 million tonnes of biomass were estimated to have been generated annually.

“With the current rate of five per cent replanting, an additional 33.3 million oil palm trunks, or 17.5 million tonnes, are made available annually,” he said at the Transfer of Technology (TOT) Seminar here today.

The annual TOT Seminar is organised to provide opportunities, especially for the Malaysian oil palm industry fraternity, a network for “business matching” between Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) researchers and participants.

Dompok said these biomass residues were currently being used internally, for example, shell and mesocarp were used as fuel for the boilers in the palm mills, saving fuel cost of up to RM4 million a year.

“The fronds, trunks and, to some extent, the empty fruit bunches are being used as mulch in the field, saving fertiliser cost of up to RM450 per hectare per year,” he said.

Dompok said there were available technologies and innovations developed by MPOB, the research and development institute, to turn palm biomass into high value-added products.

“These products include, among others, pulp, plywood, medium density fibreboard and particle board,” he said.

Oil palm is the largest plantation commodity with a cultivated area of over 4.85 million hectares and producing 16.99 million tones of crude palm oil in 2010.

Last year, export of palm oil products increased to 23.06 million tonnes.

With stable palm oil prices, export revenue has increased to RM62 billion last year from RM49 billion in 2009, making palm oil the fourth largest contributor to the national economy.

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