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News 27211 to News 27220 of about 28090 news within page 2722
27211. 23/09/2002
20 Septembet. 2002 (Business Times) - MALAYSIA’S agriculture sector willremain as the third engine of growth despite a slower growth in 2002 at1.1 per cent compared with last year’s 1.8 per cent.
27212. 23/09/2002
18 September, 2002 (Business Times) - THE list of prospective buyers forUnilever Plc NV’s oil palm estates in Malaysia is said to have grown to11, with AmBank Group executive chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim among thepossible bidders.
27213. 23/09/2002
20 September, 2002 (Business Times) - A TEAM of Malaysian scientists, incollaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), isworking on producing biodegradable plastics involving the metabolicengineering of oil palm.MIT professor Anthony John Sinskey, who is involved in the project, saidthe research comes under the Malaysia-MIT Biotechnology PartnershipProgramme (MMBPP) sponsored by the Malaysian Government.“The programme is participated by 18 academic, industry and governmentinstitutions, and more than 200 researchers worldwide,” he told BusinessTimes.Apart from MIT, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), Universiti KebangsaanMalaysia (UKM), Universiti Malaya (UM), and Universiti Putra Malaysia(UPM) are involved.According to Sinskey, MMBPP researchers are pursuing two separate avenuesto produce biodegradable plastics, scientifically known aspolyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs).MIT, UKM, UM and MPOB are looking into the use of enzymes to get the palmsto produce PHAs in the fronds.“Many of these enzymes are native in oil palm proteins whose levels can bemodulated to favour plastics production,” he said.But before this can be done, the scientists need to have a rigorousunderstanding of the complex chemical pathways involved in the plant’s oilproduction. Intensive research on the enzymes is required as well.“Once such knowledge is acquired, methods will be developed to achieve PHAsynthesis,” he added.On a parallel basis, MIT,MPOB and UPM scientists are seeking to alter thegenetics of the oil palm through the transplanting of PHA-producing genes.“An important part of this research is the identification of genes thatget naturally ‘turned on’.“And then we have to know how to direct the PHA biosynthesis genes to turnon only in the leaves and only at the proper developmental stage,” Sinskeysaid.The project is currently in the research and development phase, and isbeing carried out in laboratories in Malaysia and the US.“Several important milestones have been reached, including thedemonstration of transient production of PHA in cultured oil palm cells,and the development of analytical methods to quickly assess the levels ofPHA production.”The next phase of research will involve regeneration of entire oil palmplants that produce PHA, and further development of tissue-specific toolsfor PHA production in the fronds.But due to the long life cycle of the oil palm, plantations ofplastic-producing palms are at least 10 years away, the professor said.In addition, although the funding for the programme has been approved forthe next two years, money has not yet been disbursed, and the laboratoriesin Malaysia and at MIT have had to put the work on hold.On the benefits of the project to the plastics industry, Sinskey said PHAshave a large number of applications, including the production ofecologically friendly packaging materials, paints and surface treatments,and high-end medical products such as replacement heart valves.“And remember that being oil palm-based, the resource is a renewable one,and clean too.”Asked if there is any other way to produce plastics, Sinskey said bacteriacan be used but the process is much more expensive than petroleum-basedproduction.“Much of the cost of producing PHAs in bacteria is associated with theexpense of propagating and harvesting the bacteria.“Producing PHAs in oil palm on an agricultural scale has been shown to becommercially viable... bulk costs will be less than US$1 (US$1 = RM3.80) apound.“Of course, efficient processing techniques will have to be developed, andconsumers and governments will need to be encouraged to opt forecologically responsible plastics.”Biodegradable plastics production is a green technology that canultimately save the earth, Sinskey stressed.Apart from cost savings involved, the technology will also help addresssome key waste management issues such as PHAs which are truly recyclable.“There will also be less dependence on petroleum.”The metabolic engineering research is one of four ongoing projects underMMBPP, a five-year programme which is entering its fourth year.The others are research on the use of tissue culture techniques to developmore efficient tools for oil palm micro-propagation, and thestandardisation and characterisation of the bio-activities and qualitiesof two herbs, “Tongkat Ali” and “Pegaga”.
27214. 23/09/2002
20 September, 2002 - Quality environment is an invaluable asset. As thecommunity becomes affluent, the demand for quality environment is greater.A clean environment is the responsibility of everyone. The Governmentencourages the use of bio diesel in an effort to increase utilisation ofrenewable sources of energy which is environment-friendly. Towards this,the Government will grant subsidies to bio diesel as currently given todiesel.
27215. 23/09/2002
20 September, 2002 (Business Times) - MALAYSIA’S export performance haspicked up since March this year.
27216. 20/09/2002
JEFFERSON CITY, 16/9/2002.- A jet-powered dragster set the world renewablefuel speed record Saturday using 100 percent biodiesel. Driver Mark Smithpushed "Wild Thang" to 211 mph on the 660-foot racetrack at the OzarkInternational Raceway in Rogersville, Missouri.Biodiesel is an American fuel made from renewable fats or oils, such assoybean oil. The fuel works in any diesel engine with few or nomodifications. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but can be blended withdiesel at any level or used in its pure form. Wild Thang used soy-basedbiodiesel (B100) produced by West Central Soy of Ralston, Iowa, to achievethe Guinness World Record."The biodiesel definitely impressed me," said Russel Gehrke of Seymour,Missouri, who helped prepare the car for its run. "It ran just as fast asconventional but much cleaner. The crowd really liked it, too. It smells alot better than diesel."Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to have completed the rigorousHealth Effects testing requirements of the Clean Air Act. Results showbiodiesel reduces carcinogenic air toxics by 75-90% compared to diesel,and that biodiesel is low in toxicity, readily biodegradable and free ofsulfur. Its use reduces emissions like carbon monoxide, particulate matterand unburned hydrocarbons. Soy biodiesel also reduces carbon dioxide by 78percent on a lifecycle basis, according to a joint U.S. Department ofAgriculture/U.S. Department of Energy study."When you're burning a gallon of fuel per second like we are, you wantsomething that is environmentally friendly," Gehrke said. "I woulddefinitely use biodiesel again.""Achieving a speed of 211 miles per hour with biodiesel just underscoresthat this is a high performance fuel," said Joe Jobe, executive directorof the National Biodiesel Board. "There has never been a record like thisset using a renewable fuel and weÌre very pleased to have biodiesel be thefirst."Biodiesel has similar horsepower, torque and BTU content compared topetroleum diesel. It offers excellent lubricity and higher cetane thandiesel fuel. More than 200 major fleets use biodiesel commercially.Readers can learn more about biodiesel by visitinghttp://www.biodiesel.org The National Biodiesel Board is funded in part bythe United Soybean Board and state soybean board checkoff programs.
27217. 20/09/2002
Thursday, September 19, 2002 (The Star) - THE Malaysian Palm Oil PromotionCouncil (MPOPC) will lead a delegation of local palm oil researchers andtechnologists to South Korea and Japan in early November to promote andexpand the market for palm kernel cake (PKC) there.MPOPC chief executive officer Datuk Haron Siraj said the 10- to 15-memberPKC promotion mission was aimed at imparting various technical aspects ofPKC as animal feed.Speaking after a half-day MPOPC seminar on Industry Briefing on PalmKernel Cake in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, Haron said the mission wouldinclude briefing sessions, and interaction with importers and feedcompounders of animal feed in South Korea, and swine, cattle and poultryproducers.PKC is a by-product of the extraction of palm kernel oil. It is a safe,high-energy animal feed containing crude protein and fibre.“Our aim is to expand the market of PKC in East Asia, not only for cattlefeed but also for other livestock like poultry,’’ Haron said, adding thatthe delegation would also make presentations to some of the animal feedmillers there.He said the effort was expected to eventually raise the economies of scalefor shipping PKC to the East Asia market.Malaysia produced about 1.78 million tonnes of PKC last year and exported1.76 million tonnes, mainly to Europe.Of the 1.76 million tonnes, South Korea accounted for 207,220 tonnes andJapan 11,744.“Although small compared with exports to the European Union, we see greatpotential in the East Asia market, especially in South Korea and Japan,’’Haron said.He said that the MPOPC would explore other East Asia markets, includingVietnam and China next year.Haron also said the MPOPC planned to sell other oil palm products that hadbeen developed by its researchers to the animal feed industry.“Besides PKC and palletised palm fronds, there are also some palm oilfractions that can be used as animal feed,’’ he said.In this aspect, the MPOPC was working closely with the Malaysian Palm OilBoard, , Malaysian Agriculture Institute and Universiti Putra Malaysia,especially on efforts to improve the quality, and to promote greater usageof PKC, Haron added.
27218. 20/09/2002
Medan, Tuesday, September 17, 2002 (Bloomberg) - Palm oil prices havesuffered their biggest drop in three months because the El Nino weatherpattern did less damage to plantations than expected in Malaysia andIndonesia, where four-fifths of the crop is grown, planters said.Indonesia may harvest about 8.6 million tonnes this year, higher than the8.3 million tonnes gathered in 2001, said Derom Bangun, chairman of theIndonesian Palm Oil Association. Drought earlier this year caused by ElNino had prompted predictions of a smaller harvest.“The forecasts were a bit too grim,” said Derom. “In the main oil palmplanting areas like north Sumatera, we weren’t really hit by drought.”Four-fifths of Indonesia’s crop comes from Sumatera.Palm oil for November delivery on the Malaysian Derivatives Exchange fellRM41 a tonne, or 2.9%, to RM1,353, the biggest one-day decline for themost actively traded contract since June 10. Palm oil has dropped 12%since it touched a three-year high of RM1,529 on Aug 22.In the first eight months of this year, Malaysia’s palm oil outputdeclined 1.2% from a year ago to 7.5 million tonnes, according to theMalaysian Palm Oil Board. The government had forecast the 2002 crop woulddrop as much as 15% to 10 million tonnes.In August, production rose to a 10-month high of 1.01 million tonnes, 14%higher than a year ago, while the country’s inventories rose to theirhighest level in five months, the board said.The price of the edible oil had risen by as much as a third this year asfarmers and traders predicted reduced rainfall in Malaysia and Indonesiawould cause oil palm trees to yield fewer and smaller fruit.“It looks like it won’t be as bad as the previous one,” said Wong TeoSuan, director of Singapore’s meteorological services department. “Theforecast is it’s a weak to moderate El Nino.”And the increase in harvest estimates may cause palm oil prices to drop toas low as RM1,311 a tonne, said Jennifer Ooi, a trader at OSK Futures &Options Sdn Bhd.
27219. 19/09/2002
(Asia Intelligence Wire) 09/13/2002 - Key players of Mindanao's palm oilindustry should formulate a development plan to expand the emergingsector, which offers opportunities for growth and development.This was noted by Senen Bacani, former Agriculture secretary and chair ofFilipinas Palm Oil Industries, Inc., at the recently concluded 11thMindanao Business Conference in Surigao City.He said in most businesses, the overall effort to develop the industrywill have to be private sector-led, with the government providing thenecessary support.At present, palm oil accounts for 25% ,or 22 million metric tons (MT), ofthe world's total vegetable oil supply, next to soy bean oil. Coconut oilonly accounts for four percent of the total.The world's two biggest palm oil producers are Malaysia and Indonesia,with total planted area exceeding three million and two million hectares,respectively.In the Philippines, only less than 20,000 hectares are currently plantedto oil palms. More than 300,000 hectares of land in Mindanao have beenidentified by the Southern Philippines Development Authority as possibleareas for palm oil production.Mr. Bacani said industry stakeholders must consider validation at theground level, and should address industrial concerns such as soilsuitability, climate, necessary infrastructure and availability offinancing schemes.Another factor is the whole chain from seed to shelf. Industry playersmust have access to good seeds, particularly the more recently developedhigher-yielding varieties.Mr. Bacani said although suitable lands may exist, project proponents mustconsider the possibility these lands may have been occupied by communitiesthat need to be organized and mobilized.He also identified the need for equity financing from local and foreigninvestors, noting a substantial investment is needed since oil palm is along-gestating crop, which bears fruits three years after planting."Currently, only 33% of the country's palm oil consumption is producedlocally," he said. "In order to produce the country's total domesticrequirement by 2010, we need at least 70,000 hectares of palmoil-producing farms."In the next three to four years, he said the country needs to plant anadditional 50,000 hectares, besides replanting a significant number of theexisting hectarage which was planted about 20 years ago.A desirable food crop with a wide variety of household and industrialuses, oil palm requires lesser production cost compared to coconut oil.Although it is only placed second to soy beans in terms of world vegetableoil supply, the industry has huge potential to become the leadingvegetable oil in the world.Market opportunities for oil palm exist both domestically andinternationally.Domestic demand for palm oil is projected to increase by five percentannually from 1995 to 2015, and may reach 82,000 MT by 2000.By 2010, the country's total demand is expected to reach about 134,500 MT,and about 171,700 MT by 2015.
27220. 19/09/2002
18 September, 2002 (Business Times) - THE Primary Industries Ministryhopes the Government will allocate funds for research and development (Rand D) in the commodity sector in Budget 2003.
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