THE country’s biomass sector has attracted interests from many parties as it offer plenty of opportunities.
Ambassador and head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Malaysia, Vincent Piket, said the EU has been contributing to the Malaysian biomass industry via one of its Switch-Asia-funded projects in the country, the EU-Malaysia Biomass Sustainable Production Initiative (Biomass-SP), since 2010.
“Malaysia has to date benefited from four Switch-Asia projects, with a total value of €6.87 million (RM27.34 million),” he said in an interview recently.
Picket said the EU strongly promotes biomass as an alternative fuel and a resource for eco-products.
The Switch-Asia programme started in 2007 with a €152 million budget for the period between 2007 and 2013, with the aim to promote sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in Asia.
It is currently funding 47 projects to achieve SCP and alleviate poverty in some countries of Asia.
One of the projects funded by the programme is the implementation of SCP of eco-friendly batik in Malaysia and Indonesia, which improved the efficiency in the use of water, materials and energy in batik production to 600 SMEs in both countries.
Meanwhile, Biomass-SP technical adviser Datuk Leong Kin Mun said Malaysia has a huge potential for biomass, which currently generates about 11 per cent of gross national income from the agriculture sector.
“A significant amount of biomass is generated every year across variety of crops, including palm oil, rubber and rice. Use of biomass can help Malaysia in meeting its renewable energy and emission reduction target,” he said.
He said local biomass players are also being supported to produce value-added biomass products into a range of biofuel and co-products, such as biocomposite, biochemical and energy pellets, or biopellets.
The growing global demand for eco-friendly product provides an advantage for small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs to export their products, he added.
Leong said currently, about five per cent of final energy consumption in the EU is from bio-energy, which makes Europe an attractive export destination.
Biomass-SP, which is a development cooperation project funded by the EU under the Switch-Asia programme, is organising a four-day conference at the Putra World Trade Centre.
Themed “EU-Asia Biomass Best Practices and Business Partnering Conference 2012″, the conference will be held from May 7 to May 10.
Some 500 participants are expected at the conference, which will feature more than 80 speakers from Malaysia, Asia and Europe.
The conference, which so far has received 200 confirmed participants, will focus on the versatility of biomass, such as bioenergy, high-value chemicals, eco-products, green building materials and standards, biofertilisers and carbon projects.
A business match-making event will also be held in conjunction with the conference.
According to the organiser, the participation fees are subsidised. More information can be found on www.biomass-sp.net/conference.