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Recycle oil palm waste, millers told

KOTA KINABALU: Oil palm millers should recycle oil palm waste into re-useable materials, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said.

They should also incorporate efficient milling and produce biofertilisers, which was in line with the zero waste concept, he said.

Speaking at the opening of the 2010 National Seminar on Palm Oil Milling, Refining, Environment and Quality here yesterday, he said the milling sector should not be content with just processing and selling crude palm oil and palm kernel.

The abundant oil palm bio-mass generated during the milling process could be a good source to produce wood substitute products, animal feed, pulp and paper, and bio-energy.

Dompok later launched the Wakuba oil palm ramet brand of TSH Biotech Resources Sdn Bhd, the TKJ Organic Fertiliser and the Malaysian Palm Oil Sustainability Manual.

Palm biofuel to replace diesel

Records from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry showed that last year, industry demand for diesel was 2.8 billion litres while diesel sold at subsidised prices for other uses totalled 5.56 billion litres.

Having a 5% mix would mean cutting down the reliance on diesel for industrial use by 140,000 litres and for other uses by 278,000 litres annually.

The use of biofuel will also help cut down carbon monoxide emissions from vehicles and machines, as the combustion of biofuel produces carbon dioxide.
Former Malaysian Palm Oil Association chief executive M.R. Chandran said it was important the Government ensure that petroleum companies complied with the National Biofuel Policy and Biofuel Act.

“We need strong political will to compel petrol kiosks to make biofuel available,” he said.
He said it was important for biofuel producers and petroleum companies to work together to make biofuel available to the public at petrol stations.

Chandran said Malaysia could convert 500,000 tonnes of its total production of 15 million tonnes of crude palm oil into biofuel.

“The 5% mix of processed palm oil with diesel will not affect the performance of vehicles,” he added.

On concerns that the push to use biofuel meant clearing more land for planting oil palm, Chandran said any expansion in the future would be done in a sustainable manner.

“The country is the top producer of palm oil in the world with almost four million hectares in plantations.

“Our maximum capacity is to plant another 600,000ha and produce a maximum of 20 million tonnes of palm oil annually,” he said.

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