Sabah To Maximise Technology, Innovation To Boost Palm Oil Sector

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KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will maximise the use of technology and innovation to improve productivity, competitiveness and development of the palm oil sector, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

He said the progress in the palm oil sector and improvement of infrastructures as well as government incentives provide excellent business opportunities for industry players to venture into the downstream sector.


In a speech read by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam at the Sabah Transfer of Technology (TOT) Exhibition and Seminar here today, he noted that Sabah has nine palm oil refineries with a processing capacity of 7.48 million tonnes per year, while two biodiesel factories are operating to produce 300,000 tonnes of biofuel per year.

Additionally, the state government has developed the Lahad Datu and Sandakan Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC).

“Construction of the Pan Borneo Highway connecting Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia would also help enhance connectivity and transportation efficiency, including for oil palm products.

“Besides, the Indonesian capital’s move to Eastern Kalimantan would create economic spillovers to Sabah,” he said.

Under the 12th Malaysia Plan, a total of RM116.67 million has been allocated to Sabah’s Industrial Development Ministry to cater to the development needs in the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park, Lahad Datu POIC and the Sipitang Oil and Gas Industrial Park.

Meanwhile, the chief minister noted that the collaboration between the ministry and the Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) in organising TOT Sabah 2022 provided opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to venture into commercialisation in the downstream palm oil sector.

The commercialisation opportunities include the formulation of food products, oleochemical and biomass products, as well as green energy produced by refineries.

“I am confident that the involvement of local companies in the commercialisation of technology in the palm oil industry will generate revenue and contribute to the development of the entire industry,” he said.

Hajiji added that the development of an oleochemical factory poses huge potential as far as the downstream sector development is concerned, since there are none in Sabah and Sarawak.

Apart from having no competitors in Sabah, investors in the oleochemical sector could also be assured of a consistent supply of raw material in the form of palm oil – which is more environmentally friendly –  at a more competitive cost compared to other raw materials, especially petrochemical, he said.

He also noted that two Sabah-based companies have partnered with MPOB to produce value-added oil palm-based products.

The joint venture between the MPOB and Sabah Softwoods Hybrid Fertiliser Sdn Bhd resulted in the production of GanoEF bio fertiliser to control Ganoderma disease in oil palm.

The other was the joint venture between the MPOB and the Sabah Sustainable Oil Palm Planters Cooperative Consortium to commercialise the technology of oil palm-based cleaning products – the first one in Sabah.

“It opens up opportunities in the development of oleochemical through the production of basic elements for cleaning and personal care products as well as industrial for the local and export markets,” he said.

Hajiji added that the Sabah government’s door is always open to domestic and foreign investors, as well as those interested in building a win-win partnership between the public and private sectors, particularly in the commercialisation of oil palm-related technology.


Source: New Straits Times

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