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 Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani
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 Utd Plantations launches bio-energy facilities

15/09/06 (NSTP)  - WHEN United Plantations Bhd launches its bio-energy facilities today, it will become among the first companies to start earning carbon credits in Malaysia.

Its new biomass boiler and bio-gas plant will slash the amount of carbon its facilities produce by up to 40 per cent a year, said its vice-chairman and executive director Carl Bek Nielsen.

These reductions will be reflected as carbon credits, certified emission reductions (CERs) of greenhouse gases, that it agreed last year to sell to the Danish government.

CERs are beginning to be traded in a small but growing market in Europe, as part of efforts to meet targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

An Emissions Trading Scheme there puts a cap on how much producers can emit and allow them to buy carbon credits to offset what they cannot reduce.

The biomass boiler, which produces energy from steam, and the biogas plant will reduce dependence on fuel oil, said Bek Nielsen.

United Plantations, which turns 100 today, is marking its centenary and the launch with a visit by Princess Benedikte of Denmark.

The milestone will also be celebrated with a gala dinner at the Jenderata Estate tonight, with the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah and Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali as guests of honour.

United Plantations was founded by Aage Westernholz in 1906 when he started the Jenderata Rubber Co. By 1917, the company had switched entirely to oil palm crops.

In the 70s, the late Tan Sri Borge Bek-Nielsen, then senior executive director, and Tan Sri Basir Ismail, its chairman, spearheaded its modernisation and diversification.

United Plantations now is an international company with interests in Mexico, Norway and Australia, which Forbes magazine named in 1999 as one of the 200 Best Small Companies.

The company is also launching a new variety of oil palm that could yield roughly 40 per cent more per hectare than its current crops produce.

The new variety could produce up to 8 tonnes a hectare, compared with 5.65 tonnes for the current varieties, and the national average of 3.85 tonnes.

Bek-Nielsen said its research centre had made a technological breakthrough in tissue cultivation and oil palm seed cloning.

Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
Tel : 603 - 7802 2800 || Fax : 603 - 7803 3533