From palm waste to wealth


  • People
  • Monday, 20 Jul 2015

Passion, patience, hard work and sincerity pay, says Lim.

Datuk Joseph Lim Heng Ye, 41, is now a well-known figure in the green business scene, having built up his startup which focused on turning palm waste into revenue-generating bio-products since 2008.

Global Green Synergy Sdn Bhd (GGS), the company Lim founded together with Ngan Teng Ye, has now become a significant SME player in the local biomass sector.

The company converts palm oil waste (biomass) into palm fiber, palm pellet and other palm-related products. It also makes the machines that produce these products. After Lim won the prestigious World Creative Young Entrepreneur Award (2011-World Champion Winner) by Brussels-based Junior Chamber International in 2011, there has been no shortage of green jobs for GGS.

The RMB1bil project to green the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia, which sees GGS partnering with China’s Elion Resources Group, is just the latest example. And a whopper it is, too.

Back in 2013, the company set up a joint venture with Malaysia Palm Oil Board to produce palm bio-briquette to be used as biofuel. Yet another achievement for GGS is its partnership with Chinalight (Guangzhou) Import & Export Corp in October 2013 to supply biomass pellets to the Chinese power giant.

According to Lim, he had his first taste of the business world when he joined his father’s plastic factory after graduating from Chung Hwa Chinese Independent High School in Kuala Lumpur. But a visit to a palm oil mill changed his outlook and career path.

He was determined to enter the green business after seeing the massive environmental devastation brought about by indiscriminate dumping of palm waste.

He formed GGS in 2008 after he met his business partner Ngan, the eldest son of the late oil palm plantation tycoon Tan Sri Ngan Ching Wen.

Set up with an investment of RM3mil, the company initially only traded in biomass products, but it soon expanded and took to processing and producing its own products. Making processing machinery came next.

Now the company prides itself as the first in the country to manufacture bio-charcoal, through a carbonisation technology it invented. Unsurprisingly, it was chosen to partner Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and Nippon Steel Engineering in the production of biofuel products in Perak.

Business aside, Lim feels he has made GGS known by participating actively in trade organisations. He is a vice president of the China-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Malaysia Biomas Industries Confederation, as well as a regular speaker at international green seminars.

With the successes that it has achieved, GGS is being eyed by major corporations. But the partners are not interested to sell. Rather, they are thinking of listing in one or two years’ time after registering a solid track record in profitability. GGS only became profitable in 2012.

“Passion, patience, hard work and sincerity pay. The full trust from my business partner and commitment by my 100 employees also helped in the success of GGS,” says Lim.

In 2014, the company’s revenue stood at RM15mil with net profit at RM1.5mil. This year revenue is projected to surge to RM50mil, with profit around RM6mil-RM8mil. – By Ho Wah Foon


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