Equator targets waste system at planters

JOHOR BARU: Equator Life Science Bhd is targeting palm oil plantation companies as the main users of its biotechnology waste management system. 

Managing director Murphy Koh said the company, via subsidiary Biosmart Sdn Bhd, had invented an instant composting technology (ICT) in joint venture with Taiwan National ChungHsing University. 

Murphy Koh with the company’s soil conditioner, Biosmart Soiltonic

Koh said the technology was used to turn food waste from households and restaurants into compost fertiliser and had been used in Taiwan for five years. 

“We decided to bring it to Malaysia and apply it in the palm oil industry,’’ he told StarBiz yesterday. 

Koh said the company would unveil the ICT at the Bio Malaysia 2006 convention to be held from tomorrow until Friday at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. 

He added that the local palm oil sector instantly provided sufficient raw materials for the system to take off in a bigger way compared with in Taiwan. 

Koh said more than 30 million tonnes of bio-waste were created from 400 palm oil mills nationwide after the oil had been extracted from the fruit bunches. 

He said the bio-waste disposal was an important issue not only in terms of cost for disposal but also because it threatened the environment. 

“The system allows us to utilise all bio-waste and will enable Malaysia to achieve zero-waste discharge for the palm oil industry,’’ Koh said. 

Currently, there are various ways to utilise the bio-waste to produce solid fuel, paper, compress board and compost, but only a small fraction of the problem is solved due to limitation. 

For instance, solid fuel, paper and compress board produce secondary pollution and composting process takes too long, needs a large space and is dependent on weather conditions. 

Koh said the ICT system was able to convert oil palm bio-waste into organic fertiliser within a day, thus there would be no empty fruit bunches to be burned and no POME (pam oil mill effluent) to be discharged. 

“Palm oil mills could install the machines within their vicinity and use the product as compost fertiliser for the oil palms,” he said. 

He said the company currently produced SOS Soiltonic from the palm oil waste and the product helped rehabilitate “sick soil” from over-cultivation. 

Koh said its plant in Banting, Selangor, now produced 50 tonnes of SOS Soiltonic daily and last month exported the product to China. 

He said the company would also target the palm oil sectors in Indonesia and Thailand and commercial agriculture farmers in Japan and Taiwan for the products. 

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