Sarawak can become R&D hub for battery recycling solution

Wang (left) exchanging the document with Tay Ah Ching witnessed by Abang Johari (centre, in brown suit).

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Oct 9: The partnership between Amalgamated Batteries Manufacturing (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd and JuJiang Power Technology Co Ltd (China) in battery manufacturing and production in Sarawak could pave the way for R&D into battery recycling solution.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said there is a need to improve recycling of lithium-ion batteries, which is widely used in today’s lifestyle, as well as in various industries particularly automotive.

It is becoming critical to avoid huge amounts of waste ending up in the environment, he added.

“I am sure these two companies can consider doing R&D (research and development) to find solution in battery recycling for it to be sustainable.

“Sarawak can be the centre for these two companies to lead in the R&D to improve the recycling of lithium batteries,” he said at the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing between the two companies here today.

The image of the proposed Fuya Energy facility.

Amalgamated Batteries Manufacturing (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd and JuJiang Power Technology Co Ltd (China), in short ABM and JJ respectively, will be working towards setting up a battery manufacturing plant in Kuching for the production of batteries to cater for both domestic and overseas market.

Other than recycling battery, Abang Johari suggested using technology to extract lithium out of the used batteries to be reused in producing new batteries.

“Batteries has a short lifespan of an average five years and contained heavy metals and toxic chemicals like lithium, in which disposing them as regular trash will pose threats on the environment.

“As such, the debates on fossil and renewable fuel for industries that require power especially automotive as more and more cities in the world are using electric and hybrid cars.

“The demand for battery technology will continue to grow and consumption will increase,” he said.

He added that a lot of foreign investors are keen to invest in the state due to stability and cultural cohesion.

“There are three major investments in the pipeline in Samalaju including paper recycling and we have to increase our power generation and production,” he said.

Meanwhile, ABM deputy managing director, Datuk Alan Tay Tze Poh, said the partnership aimed to reduce the country’s reliance on imported batteries and help the automotive industry to develop sustainable competitive advantage.

“The facility will be equipped with advanced technologies and know-how for the production of Enhanced Flooded Battery (EFB) and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries to cater for electric, hybrid, start stop and energy efficient vehicles,” he said.

JJ chairman Wang Dong said the RM500 million investment is only the beginning, as there will be many future development prospect and projects from the company in Sarawak.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, ABM chairman Datuk Sri Tay Ah Ching @ Tay Chin Kin and its managing director Datuk Tay Tze How, as well as JJ chief executive officer (CEO) Jiang Renhai and Southeast Asia Project CEO He Yiren were present. — DayakDaily