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‘Ministry to assist Unimas treat oil palm wastes’

on 13 Ogos 2010.

 

KUCHING: The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water will help University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) develop state-of-the-art technology to treat oil palm wastes.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui, told The Borneo Post that the ministry would study Unimas’ proposal first before committing itself to the project.

Unimas, together with Australian firm, Bellwether Agriculture Pte Lte, and Pansar eQo Sdn Bhd had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop the new technology.

The MoU was inked by the three parties at Unimas last week.

“We are willing to provide the funding if it meets the green technology requirements,” said Chin.

Unimas’ head of Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation, Professor Dr Lau Seng, said he welcomed Chin’s statement and hoped that it would materialise soon.

Lau, who was optimistic that Unimas would have enough funds, said the university was also seeking help from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations. Its deputy minister Fadillah Yusof said once he had received the proposal from Unimas, a committee will decide on it.

He said at the moment he could not give detailed explanations as he has not seen the proposal yet.

Lau said the cost of the pilot project would be at least RM8.5 million.

“But Unimas would need at least RM7 million as we have our own funds,” said Lau.

He told The Borneo Post last week that the pilot project or proof-of-concept study would take about 12 months to verify the digestion and water treatment systems.

He added that the field trial for the fertiliser produced by the system will be longer.

Lau said the conclusive effects of the organic fertiliser on the plant and soil health will only be achieved after two years of continuous study.

He added that the cost of applying the technology at any palm oil mill would depend on the amount of palm oil mill effluent (POME) and empty fruit bunch (EFB) and the delivery of the wastes.

“However, our wish depends very much on how soon we can validate similar technologies emerging elsewhere, and those would be our competitors. That is why we need to get our system ready for the market,” he said.

He believed that the capital cost of developing the technology could be recovered within three to four years.

Lau said the benefits of the new technology for the palm oil industry in the country would be immense.

“The benefits would include environmental protection; cost saving on resources (land and money) that they spent on handling their POME and EFB and earn some income from them.

Besides that they could also claim carbon credits for using the system which range from hundreds of thousand to millions of ringgit depending on the capacity of the plant.

Besides that, mill owners could use the biogas for electricity generation, as cooking gas, or as fuel for their farm vehicles.

“Mill owners will have the opportunity to use organic fertiliser on their plantations and we expect it will save them at least 10 per cent of their current spending on chemical fertilisers,” he said.

He added that using organic fertilisers will improve their oil palm yields and hence better profits.

“The industry will have done their parts in saving the earth and reduce climate change,” Lau concluded.

 

Extracted from The Borneo Post.

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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Tarikh terakhir kemaskini: Khamis 28 Januari 2016.

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