KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 (Bernama) -- Palm oil producers should invest in thepulp and paper industry from the empty fruit bunches (EFB) to generateadditional income, Minister of Primary Industries Datuk Seri Dr Lim KengYaik said.
He said new biomass technology allowed investors to set up pulp mills at acheaper price.
"Costing between RM30 million and RM60 million, industry players can setup a pulp mill producing a capacity of 15,000 to 30,000 tonnes of pulpdepending on the amount of investment," he told reporters after witnessingthe signing of collaborative research and development (R&D) for pulp andpaper from oil palm biomass between Stable Win Sdn Bhd and HangzhouProject and Research Institute of Electro-Mechanic in Light Industry hereMonday.
Currently, there are 370 palm oil mills in the country and they can easilytapped the available market from China which imported between sevenmillion and eight million tonnes of pulp annually.
Dr Lim said a pulp mill in Sabah which recently invested RM1.3 billion.
He is confident that investments in pulp making business could generatelucrative income and the machine was readily available.
Dr Lim said the government had allocated various incentives including thepioneer status to assist entrepreneurs.
Touching on the collaboration between Stable Win and its Chinesecounterpart, Dr Lim said the ocassion marked a successful outcome of R&Dcollaboration on pulp and paper utilising oil palm biomass.
He said Stable Win had successfully invented the technology with specialshredding machine named "Ecofibrex" that is able to shred EFB intoreusable fibre.
"As we are all aware, EFB until now, has been either discarded as wastematerial or used as mulching material and fuel to fire the furnaces ofpalm oil mills.
"Through the Hangzhou Institute of China, this reusable EFB fibre will beutilised as an excellent raw materials for pulp and paper to producequality paper, thus generating extra revenue," he said.
"I have been actively promoting the use of biomass, which is readilyavailable in Malaysia. It is estimated that about 90 million tonnes ofbiomass is generated given Malaysia's present oil palm hectarage of 3.6million hectares," he said.
Meanwhile, Stable Win executive director, Yeo Kim Luang, said the companyhad carried out two trials on pulp and paper making by using 100 percentof its EFB in China and it was confirmed the EFB could be used to producepulp and paper.
Also present at the event were Dean of Hangzhou Institution, Prof LiuAn-Jiang and vice-president of China National Light Industrial MachineryCorporation, Li Jianguo.