Credit: Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak - UKAS Facebook
28/03/2024 05:00 PM

KUCHING, March 28 (Bernama) -- The Sarawak government will continue to empower downstream industries such as in biomass production, furniture and industries based on bamboo and engineered wood to further increase the production of high value-added wood products.

Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said this empowerment measure is part of efforts to transform the timber industry in the state which is currently still focused on exporting the main product.

“Therefore, timber industry players are urged to be more committed to implementing the transformation of their activities and operations towards the production of high value-added wood products by using more raw materials from forest and bamboo plantations,” he said.

Awang Tengah who is also Sarawak's Minister of International Trade, Industry and Investment said this at the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) Annual Donation Ceremony here today.

According to him, the biomass industry has great potential to be explored in the development of the green economy.

"Biomass products such as wood pellets, biochar and charcoal briquettes are in high demand in the global market because they are more environmentally friendly fuels than fossil fuels," he said.

Awang Tengah said the production of wood pellets from Sarawak has increased by 130 per cent from 35,522 tonnes in 2022 to 81,800 tonnes in 2023.

He said Japan, France and South Korea are the main importers of these wood pellets which also have great potential to generate green energy in Sarawak, in line with the state government's green energy policy.

“At the same time, players in the timber industry are advised to adopt Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0) technology which emphasises the use of automation and digital technology to be more resourceful,” he said.

He said STIDC has produced the Engineered Wood Product Blueprint as a guideline for the development of the engineered wood industry in Sarawak, in addition to implementing research and product development initiatives in smart collaboration with local and foreign research and higher education institutions.

"The Sarawak Bamboo Industry Development Plan has been prepared by STIDC to develop this industry in a more planned manner. The global export value of bamboo-based products in 2022 was US$68 billion and is expected to grow at a rate of four per cent per year," he added.