EU boost for domestic SMEs in biomass sector

Malaysia’s biomass product exports to Europe and investments from there into Malaysia are estimated to account for more than RM300mil a year under a European Union-funded initiative.

Head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Malaysia Vincent Piket said the estimate was based on enquiries the EU received from European companies via the EU-Malaysia biomass sustainable production initiative (Biomass-SP).

Forty-five local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been selected to participate in the EU-Malaysia Biomass Entrepreneurs Nurturing Programme. The aim of the programme is to promote long-term business or investment, joint ventures and sharing of best practices within key priority sectors of the biomass industry via coaching and training.

The selected SMEs are active in the production of biocomposite, biofertiliser, biopellet, biocharcoal, biobriquette, biomass fibre, eco-product, biochemical, animal feed and green building materials.

Biomass-SP technical adviser Datuk Leong Kin Mun and Piket at the soft launch of the EU-Asia Biomass Best Practices and Business Partnering Conference 2012.

Piket said many European companies were “interested in bio-composite products made of rice husk, palm biomass pellets, wood pellets, palm kernel shells and biomass briquettes”.

“Investors also are interested in wood pellet production plant, biomass power plant and methane capture biogas projects,” he said at the soft launch of the EU-Asia Biomass Best Practices and Business Partnering Conference 2012.

“The governments of EU nations and Malaysia are making good efforts in moving towards low carbon green growth. The European firms are world leaders in the ecological industry and we feel that the green technology sector is showing great potential in Malaysia,” Piket said.

Meanwhile, the four-day conference from May 7 at the Putra World Trade Centre is expected to see the participation of 50 European companies.

They “will come to Malaysia to explore business and environmental collaborations with Malaysian biomass stakeholders, inclusive of SMEs and major biomass owners such as plantation companies and palm oil mills,” Piket said.

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