MPOB teams up with S. Korean firm

MALAYSIAN Palm Oil Board (MPOB) is collaborating with Dongwha GH International Sdn Bhd to use local oil palm biomass for the production of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) for commercial use.

MDF is a composite wood product made of wood-waste fibre glued together with resin, heat and pressure.

Director-general Datuk Dr Mohd Basri Wahid says the collaboration will enable the board to proceed on a faster track to see how it can fulfil the commercial specification for MDF.

“We already have the facilities in place for research and development (R&D) for MDF,” he said after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the parties in Bangi yesterday.

“We are going to evaluate whether we can produce the MDF from oil palm biomass like empty fruit bunches, oil palm trunks or oil palm fronds on a commercial scale,” he adds.

He says the oil palm replanting scheme targets to fell 200,000ha of oil palm that will provide abundant supply of oil palm trunks for processing into value-added products.

On crude palm oil production this year, Basri said the board forecast total production of 18.3 million tonnes against 17.7 million last year.

Dongwha director Lee Byeong Eon says the company will explore the possibilities of using oil palm biomass for MDF production in two months. “We hope to finalise the whole project in two to three years,” he says.

Dongwha GH is a subsidiary of the South Korean wooden panel producer Dongwha MH Holdings.

Its three plants in Malaysia export 70% of total production, recording about US$100mil in revenue last year, of which 3%-4% went to R&D.

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