BioArt competition aimed at spreading importance and versatility of palm oil

Versatile plant: Students being briefed about the Bio Art competition in Lahad Datu

KOTA KINABALU: An art and craft competition with a difference will soon be making its way around schools in Sabah to get students creative in using oil palm related materials.

This includes oil palm waste such as the the discarded trunks, leaves and other parts of the tree.

Organized by the state owned POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd, the competition is aimed at getting students to see the value of oil palm waste

POIC Sabah chief executive Dr Pang Teck Wai said the competition would be opened to pre-schoolers all the way to secondary school students.

He said the competition that was also being jointly organised with the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation, the Education Department and State Library could eventually be held nationwide.

“We would like to spread the message about the importance and versatility of oil palm,” said Dr Pang after the launching of the Lahad Datu leg of the competition last week.

The BioArt Competition was first unveiled at the 4th BioBorneo conference and exhibition in Kota Kinabalu on April 20.

Dr Pang noted that the general perception about the industry had been about the crude palm oil it produces.

“But there is now a growing awareness about the other related products that have much potential especially those sourced from oil palm biomass,” he said.

“This so called waste will ultimately become more valuable than the oil,” said Pang.

He said the proposed refinery cluster at the east coast Lahad Datu would leverage the district’s strategic location and its being in the heart of oil palm country.

“We see Lahad Datu growing into a global hub for bio refining,” he added.

Oil palm biomass includes empty fruit bunches, mesocarp fibres, palm kernel shells, palm oil mill effluent (POME), fronds and trunks.

While fronds and trunks come from the plantations, the others are from oil palm mills.

Earlier when launching the unique art competition, Silam MP Datuk Nasrun Datu Mansur said Sabahans should grab job and business opportunities in the oil palm industry as the state government sought to industrialise and value-add the sector.

“These opportunities are literally in our backyard,” he said when launching the bio art competition at the Lahad Datu district library.

Nasrun also officiated the First Lahad Datu District Level BioArt Competition 2015 at the State Library here.

POIC Sabah that was developing the Lahad Datu palm oil industrial cluster (POIC Lahad Datu).

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