Exploiting S’wak’s biomass potential could create RM4.8 billion GNI, 30,000 jobs

KUCHING, Oct 19: Sarawak has a tremendous potential to leverage its biomass by generating RM4.8 billion in gross national income.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, who was representing Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the International Biomass Conference 2017 (IBCM) today said the feasibility study by a state steering committee has also shown that 30,000 jobs and RM18 billion in investment opportunities could also be generated throughout the entire biomass industry value chain.

Apart from that, Sarawak could also be Asia’s first leader in integrated biomass cluster (BioHub) as there are other existing bio-resources to complement and exemplify the concept of a sharing economy.

The 2015 study, led by the State Planning Unit, was initiated to understand biomass industry opportunities for Sarawak.

“The study has helped us to gauge the real biomass volumes available, the cost and eventually the mix of potential sustainable downstream activities that benefit the state, creating real social and economic impact,” said Abang Johari in his speech text which was read out by Uggah.

Abang Johari gave his assurance that Sarawak is very committed towards the aspiration of becoming a regional biomass processing hub for downstream biomass activities.

“We have plans to diversify our economy through bio-economy, with biomass as an integral part. Therefore, a detailed road map and an action plan will be implemented by a federal-state task force led by the State Planning Unit,” he said.

Sarawak can host ten biofuel or biochemical plants in various stages of the development, mobilising six million dry tonnes out of the 19 million dry tonnes of biomass in four specific clusters in Bintulu, Miri, Tanjung Manis and Kuching in the next 10-15 years.

“Sarawak is a big land mass, so the state government in collaboration with the federal government must continue to improve the industrial infrastructure, transportation networks and logistics systems to meet the demands of the new growing industries like biomass and all businesses alike.

“With Malaysia’s multi biomass feed stock proposition, geographic location, established infrastructure, facilities and amenities from existing industries like oil and gas and forestry,  we are well positioned to carve a niche in the industry,” he said. — DayakDaily