Kuala Lumpur and Sabah Collaborate to Develop Downstream Palm Oil Industry
Kuala Lumpur and Sabah Collaborate to Develop Downstream Palm Oil Industry

Kuala Lumpur and Sabah Collaborate to Develop Downstream Palm Oil Industry

  • 02-Feb-2024 3:24 PM
  • Journalist: Patrick Knight

The collaborative efforts of Federal and State Governments are set to pave the way for the development of the downstream palm oil industry in Sabah. Recently, Datuk Phoong Jin Zhe, the Minister of Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship for the state, led a delegation to meet with Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, the Federal Minister of Plantation and Commodities, at Wisma Getah in KLCC, Kuala Lumpur.

The meeting served as a platform for discussions on the strategic direction of both downstream palm oil and biomass industries. During the deliberations, both parties expressed a mutual commitment to realizing the aspirations of the Sabah Government in fostering the growth of these essential downstream sectors.

While the focus was primarily on the downstream palm oil industry, significant attention was also devoted to exploring the untapped potential of the biomass industry. This sector emerges as a crucial component of Sabah's sustainable development agenda, offering diverse opportunities for growth. Biomass, including residues like empty fruit bunches (EFBs), palm kernel shells (PKS), and palm oil mill effluent (POME), holds substantial potential across various sectors.

Datuk Phoong underscored the versatility of biomass, noting its role in renewable energy production, value-added product manufacturing, environmental sustainability, and economic growth. He emphasized that through technologies such as biomass gasification, biofuels, and biogas generation, these residues could be transformed into electricity, heat, and biofuels. Such initiatives contribute not only to the nation's renewable energy goals but also play a crucial role in reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

Furthermore, the utilization of biomass aligns with environmental sustainability goals by curbing waste generation and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. This approach fosters a circular economy, minimizing environmental impact and promoting a more sustainable industrial landscape for Sabah.

Expressing gratitude for the support and vision provided by Datuk Seri Johari, Datuk Phoong acknowledged that, with Johari's endorsement, Sabah is well-positioned to collaborate closely with the Ministry of Plantation and Commodities. The collaboration aims to drive policy initiatives that will propel Sabah and Malaysia toward a more sustainable and prosperous future.

The meeting brought together key stakeholders, including Datuk Thomas Logijin, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship; Datuk Fredian Gan, CEO of POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd; Chan Loong Wei, Political Secretary to the Ministry; and Henry Shim, Special Task Officer to the Minister. The collective discussions and shared commitment during this meeting signal a unified approach toward fostering sustainable development, economic growth, and environmental stewardship in Sabah's palm oil and biomass industries.

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