Tuesday, August 9

S’wak now a biodiesel producer


Launching of plant at Senari by chief minister puts state in world map

KUCHING: Sarawak is now producing biodiesel following the completion its first biodiesel plant operated by Senari Biofuels Sdn Bhd on a ten-acre site at Assar Senari Industrial Complex near here.

TAPPING INTO THE FUTURE: Taib officially opens Senari Biofuelsí plant. The others are (from left) Khalid and Johari. — Photo by Johnathan Bullet

TAPPING INTO THE FUTURE: Taib officially opens Senari Biofuelsí plant. The others are (from left) Khalid and Johari. — Photo by Johnathan Bullet

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, when launching the plant yesterday, said this new venture has put Sarawak in the world map for yet another renewable energy initiative.

“Hopefully, we could have more biodiesel plants. From what I learnt, there is one being planned for Tanjong Manis,” he said.

Minister of Housing and Urban Development Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, assistant ministers and the top people from Assar Senari Group and Senari Biofuels were also present at the launching ceremony.

Senari Biofuel, a wholly-owned Sarawak company started the RM80-million project nearly four years ago.

According to its executive chairman, Dato Abang Khalid Marzuki, this plant was constructed in view of the availability of feedstock from ASG’s Assar Refinery Services and also a growing demand from international buyers especially Thailand, South Korea, Europe and the United States.

Using state-of-the-art British technology, the plant is capable of producing 120,000 metric tons of biodiesel annually and also other downstream palm oil products such as polyurethane commonly used as biodegradable building insulation materials.

Once fully operational by March this year, the plant will cater for both the export and local market.

“After 20 months of construction, Senari Biofuels is now ready to commence operation.”

ASG chairman Tan Sri Bujang Mohd Nor, who also spoke, said Sarawak is blessed with huge land suitable for oil palm plantations.

This, he said, is a strategic advantage for ASG and its partners to fully intensify its biodiesel research and development efforts.

“With the help of our strong partners in international and domestic marketing and distribution, such as Trafigura International, Petronas and Shell, it is indeed our aspiration for people in southern Sarawak to enjoy the benefits of using Sarawak’s own biodiesel by the end of this year,” he said.

Following the agreement signing  yesterday there  was an exchange of agreement documents between Senari Biofuels represented by Khalid and ASG represented by chief executive officer Syeed Mohd Hussien.

These agreements allow Senari Biofuels to purchase nearly RM120 million worth of palm feedstock from ASG’s Assar Refinery for f 30 years.

Taib later handed over ISO 9001 and ISO 14000 certificates to ASG and also donations of RM5,000 each from the two companies to the five surrounding villages.

Prior to arriving at the function,  Taib also took a 45-minute river cruise from his  residence  at Demak Jaya to Assar Senari Port on KD Bijak vessel belonging to the Marine Enforcement Agency (APMM).

He was accompanied by Bujang and Syeed.

During the cruise he was briefed him on the developments taking place in the area.