Malaysia aims to become bioenergy hub with new joint venture

According to local news reports, five plantation companies in Malaysia have signed a biomass joint venture cluster agreement to benefit the state of Sabah.

The biomass project borne from this agreement, a concept from the Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM), aims at aggregating sufficient volumes of biomass for a variety of downstream processing activities by allowing palm oil providers come together.

The joint venture entity would then decide whether the biomass should be used for solid (pellet) or liquid (ethanol) biofuels.

The five companies involved are Bell Group, Kelas Wira, Teck Guan Group, Golden Elate and Genting Berhad, but others are expected to join in the near future.

‘Palm oil mills are the source of empty fruit bunches, a main ingredient of pellets, and AIM has identified about 70 of 120-plus mills in Sabah to be potential partners in this biomass JV cluster,’ CEO of Sabah-based global investment hub POIC, Pang Teck Wai, was quoted as saying.

‘Eventually we hope to aggregate some 1.5 million dry tonnes per joint venture cluster to realise the objective of making Sabah the Malaysian centre for second generation biofuel, as envisaged in the national Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).’

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