THE global agarwood-based essential oil market is expected to reach US$201.03mil (RM842.07mil) in 2026, says University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Khairuddin Abdul Hamid.
“For agarwood of the highest grade, its value can reach up to US$100,000 (RM418,300) per kilogramme, which makes it the most expensive natural resource in the world, more expensive than gold.
“Therefore, the improvement of agarwood oil extraction technology is an important topic at the moment,” he highlighted.
He said this at the virtual signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with National Chin-Yi University of Technology (NCUT), Taiwan, Sosa Shennong Group and Agar Biotechnology Company.
The MOU was for both educational institutions to focus on research on the agarwood tree, which is a fragrant dark resinous wood.
Prof Khairuddin said agarwood had been used as incense, perfume and medicine for thousands of years.
He noted that agarwood was listed in traditional Islamic and Indian medicines in the 8th century.
“Therefore we hope to use this opportunity to learn more about agarwood refining, with expertise and contacts from both sides.”
UCTS’ vision is to be a global technical university, he said.
“I hope NCUT and UCTS can work together to secure international grants for agarwood research in the future,” he said, expressing his appreciation to all the parties that had worked hard to establish the collaboration.
Present were NCUT president Yuan Chen Wen, NCUT Jet International Office director Luo Win, UCTS International Relations Centre director Assoc Prof Dr Wong Sing Sing, NCUT International Office deputy director Chi Wang Cheng, NCUT mechanical engineering department Assoc Prof Shyong Lin Jin, Agar Biotechnology Co Ltd general manager Ho Hsieh Ching and Sosa group president Shennong Sion Hong.