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Rapid growth seen for biomass sector

Rapid growth seen for biomass sector

KUALA
LUMPUR: The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), a unit under
International Trade and Industry Ministry, projects rapid growth and good
prospects for the country’s biomass industry next year.

Minister
Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said biomass was an important sector and Malaysia
needed to harness its potentials.

“We
(Malaysia) are looking for some new growth strategies, as currently we have
information technology, biotechnology and electrical and electronics sectors
which have done well,” he told reporters at the Biomass Conference 2015 here
yesterday.

He said
Malaysia’s biomass ecosystem now was quite simple where biomass items were
converted to oil palm pellets which were sold to South Korea and China.

Mustapa
said the biggest opportunities were in Sarawak, Johor and Pahang which had big
palm plantations, which could be relied on for good and regular supply of raw
materials.

He said
the country needed to move up and produce bio-ethanol, citing Brazil which
converted sugarcane waste to ethanol for fuel.

Investments
in biomass industry in Malaysia continue to be encouraging and as of 2014, MIDA
approved a total of 12 biomass projects with investments of RM82.9mil compared
with 11 projects with investments of RM54.6mil in 2013.

Domestic
investments amounted to RM71.1mil while foreign investments totalled RM11.8mil.

Approved
biomass projects were for utilisation of empty fruit bunches and palm oil mill
effluents to produce organic fertiliser, oil palm pellet, peeled palm lumber and
fibre.

Significant
opportunities now exist in downstream activities, which generate higher
value-added products in the palm biomass sub-sector.

Other
promoted growth areas in the palm oil sector are in oleochemical-based products
and nutritional food and ingredients, as well as research and developments
activities which involve high levels of technology.

Source : Bernama

16 June 2015
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