International Biomass Conference Malaysia

Connecting to the Global Biomass Ecosystem - Biomass is one of the priority areas for development that could serve as a high value economic driver for Malaysia’s economy in the near future.

11 October 2016, Kuala Lumpur – “Biomass is one of the priority areas for development that could serve as a high value economic driver for Malaysia’s economy in the near future. In recent years, the importance of the biomass industry across sectors within various types of applications and outputs has been growing. We should continue to focus and build on our niche areas and competencies in this industry while not forgetting the importance of collaborating with various stakeholders to ensure its sustainability,” said YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Malaysia at the official launching of the International Biomass Conference Malaysia 2016 (IBCM2016), today.

The event was also graced by YB Datuk Sri Mah Siew Keong, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, and YB Datuk Hajah Nancy Shukri, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Department.

This year, the Conference brought together more than 900 key local and international players from the global biomass value chain.

Investments in the biomass industry in Malaysia continue to be encouraging and significant opportunities exist in downstream activities. In 2015, MIDA approved 40 biomass projects with investments of RM724.9 million compared with 40 projects and investments of RM230.6 million in the previous year. Domestic investments amounted to RM423 million while foreign investments totalled RM301.9 million. For the first half of 2016, MIDA approved 12 biomass projects with investments of RM151.3 million.

In his speech, YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa urged local stakeholders to maximise the value of Malaysia’s biomass resources. “Bioenergy, biofuels, biochemical and even biomass-based end products like bio-plastics present endless possibilities for the biomass industry. We should be leveraging on these resources to grow our manufacturing and services sector and optimise the highest aggregated value these industries can bring to the country,” said YB MITI Minister.

“Yet, we are also aware that such opportunities are not limited to Malaysia. To continue to develop this industry requires extensive collaboration and co-development efforts by the different foreign governments and business community. Malaysia can be your destination to forge these partnerships and alliances as well as become a platform for many businesses to expand in the region,” added YB Dato Sri Mustapa.

Through the National Biomass Strategy 2020 (NBS2020) launched in 2011, Malaysia has outlined its growth strategy and developmental aspiration for this industry. For this purpose, the Government has been working closely with all stakeholders to establish the right foundation and ecosystem for Malaysia to capitalise on the opportunities in the biomass industry. A dedicated unit, namely Biomass Strategy Delivery Unit (1MBAS) was setup within Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM), to execute the National Biomass Strategy 2020 (NBS2020).

“The Biomass industry in Malaysia is still at the stage of infancy, where there are many areas currently still undergoing development. I believe that technological advancement is something which is in the interest of everyone as it impacts the commercial viability of projects. It is a race of innovation and technology throughout the value chain, and whoever wins the race will reap the highest rewards.” said YB Datuk Hajah Nancy Shukri in her special address.

“From an innovation standpoint, the Government is committed to ensure that Malaysian companies will participate in the real biomass value creation. In other words, rather than just supplying biomass as feedstock, these companies would be moving out of a commodity-based business mind-set into higher value-added activities that are both sustainable and commercially viable. We want to see this industry move innovatively to create sustainable biomass industries in Malaysia,” added YB Datuk Hajah Nancy Shukri.

YB Datuk Sri Mah Siew Keong also emphasised in his speech that biomass can be an important source of income for the plantation industry against the background of fluctuating commodity prices in recent years. “In the longer term, this will complement efforts to explore new sources of income to ensure long term resilience of the commodity industry,” he said.

As Malaysia has committed to address global climate change, replacing fossil-based materials with bio-based materials will be one of the key solutions to reduce the country’s carbon emissions intensity by 40 per cent by the year 2020. “With the technological advancement in the biomass industry, I am optimistic greater value can be created from these resources through production of products such as biofuels, biochemical and other bio based products, and also contribute toward reducing carbon emissions,” added YB Datuk Sri Mah.

As part of the NBS initiative, Sabah and Sarawak have their own individual biomass industry development plans that were launched in February 2016 by the Prime Minister. Both Sabah and Sarawak account for more than 50% of available biomass in the country.

The full day conference, held at MITI Tower was a collaborative effort between the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM). IBCM2016 featured six panel discussions on a range of topics including business opportunities and market outlook, biomass value-chain, R&D and innovative technology development, and the industry outlook.


For more information, please contact:

Ms M. Umarani,

Director, Chemical & Advanced Materials

Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)

Email: [email protected] | Tel: 03- 2267 6678 | Fax: 03- 2274 8502


About MIDA

MIDA is the government's principal promotion agency under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to oversee and drive investments in the manufacturing and services sectors in Malaysia. Starting operations in 1967, MIDA is the first point of contact for investors that want to take advantage of Malaysia’s vibrant economy, world-class infrastructure and business-friendly environment to set up their profit centre in Asia.


MATRADE is the national trade promotion agency of Malaysia. The agency’s mission to promote Malaysia’s export has enabled many local companies to carve new frontiers in global markets. Today as MATRADE continues to put the spotlight on capable Malaysian companies on the international stage, the agency is helping make the phrase ‘Made-In-Malaysia’ synonymous with excellence, reliability and trustworthiness.

About AIM

A statutory body established by the Government through an Act of Parliament was created to jump start wealth creation through knowledge, technology and innovation to stimulate and develop the innovation eco-system in Malaysia. AIM lays the foundation of innovation that inspire and produce a new generation of innovative entrepreneurs. AIM has two clear goals; to bring about holistic societal well-being through cultivation of the innovation eco-system and to drive the national innovation agenda to generate new-wave wealth. This is achieved by facilitating collaboration between Government, Academia and Industry in advancing the consolidation and execution of new ideas in innovation.

Appendix I:
About National Biomass Strategy (NBS) 2020

About National Biomass Strategy (NBS) 2020

The National Biomass Strategy (NBS) 2020 was initiated in November 2011 to assess how Malaysia can gain more revenue from its palm oil industry through utilisation of the associated biomass as a start. It is a result of extensive collaboration of the Malaysian Government with private sector companies as well as domestic and international research institutes and academia. The Strategy outlines the action plan and opportunities in the biomass value chain that could create RM 30 billion in additional GNI, 66,000 jobs mostly high value, 12% reduction in Carbon Emissions and RM 25 billion in Investments. While the strategy initially focused on the palm oil industry since it was the largest producer of biomass in Malaysia, the scope is also extended to include all types of biomass from sources such as rubber, wood and rice husk. In the version 2.0 of the NBS 2020 released in 2013, expanded scope to include biomass from Forestry sector and Dedicated Crops on Marginal Land as feedstock to higher value downstream industries addressing availability, mobilisation costs and downstream supply potential.

About Sabah Biomass Industry Development Action Plan

This state-specific assessment on real biomass opportunity and action plan is an on-going initiative to maximise Sabah's biomass based economy. The key preliminary findings include Sabah's potential to mobilise up to 5 million dry tonnes of biomass in the next 25 years. Given the availability of vast opportunities in the state, a longer-term biomass strategy roadmap is currently being developed to promote the growth of the industry in creating higher value downstream activities. This will help to create ideal portfolio and customised action plans for the State and serve as a succession planning for National Biomass Strategy 2020 initiative by internalising it as part of the development blueprint for Sabah State in order to drive the biomass industry beyond 2020.

About Sarawak Biomass Industry Development Action Plan

Similarly, this state-specific assessment on real biomass opportunity and action plan is an on-going initiative to seize the opportunity of using biomass materials from forest plantations, residues from sawmills and veneer mills in Sarawak, given that Sarawak state is a natural hub for forestry activities and holds most of the Nation's forestry resources. A total potential biomass supply of 21 million tonnes has been identified and there is also potential for Short Rotation Crops (SRC) plantations in Sarawak. The preliminary project findings reveals that surplus Oil Palm Fronds (OPF), Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) and harvest residues in the State offer the most potential new investments for the country.

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Posted on : 11 October 2016
Last Updated : Thursday 21st February 2019