From trash to treasure

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  • Friday, 18 Nov 2016

pic MUSTAFA AHMAD / The Star / 05 April 2016.

Penang-based company expects RM50mil increase in revenue this year from its recycle and waste management businesses, and sees more growth as it expands into recycling electronic waste from households and not just industries.

SHAN Poornam Sdn Bhd, a leading Penang-based waste management company in the country, aims to achieve RM250mil revenue for 2016, a 15% increase from RM200mil a year ago.

Its chief executive officer, S. Selvakumar, said the growth would be driven by the automotive industry in the region and household e-waste as well as precious meta-refining.

Shan Poornam, which operates in Prai Industrial Estate, obtains aluminium waste from electronic, storage and automotive products to produce secondary aluminium ingots for component and part suppliers of the automotive industry.

“The growth of the automotive industry in the region impacts positively on our aluminium ingot manufacturing business, as there will be more demand for such ingots to make aluminium components and parts.

“The aluminium ingot business contributes 30% of the company’s revenue,” said the chief executive officer.

Shan Poornam’s aluminium ingots are labelled eco-friendly, as the secondary production process is 92% more energy-efficient than its primary production.

Selvakumar says the company is in the process of merging with a government-linked company, which is scheduled to be completed this year.
Selvakumar says the company is in the process of merging with a government-linked company, which is scheduled to be completed this year.

Its aluminium ingots also meet the Japanese International Standards, British Standards and American Standards.

“Our concept of waste-to-raw materials supply chain supporting manufacturer to manufacture ‘eco-green product’ can be achieved through Shan Poornam’s integrated facility,” said Selvakumar.

Moving forward, Shan Poornam plans to process 13,000 metric tonnes (MT) of waste monthly, up from 5,000 MT currently.

“We plan to achieve this 13,000 MT capacity by 2018. The company is in the process of merging with a government-linked company, which is scheduled to be completed this year.

“Once the merger is completed, we will inject RM60mil spread over several phases of development to raise our waste-handling capacity gradually to 13,000 MT per month by 2018 from 5,000 MT now,” he added.

Most recyclers are focusing on industrial waste. Indeed the recycling of consumer waste is actually the missing link in the recycling industry in Malaysia for sustainable environment.

Shan Poornam workers upgrading the integrated pollution control system.
Shan Poornam workers upgrading the integrated pollution control system.

In 2018, the company will also be ready to handle e-waste from households in the country, as it has been appointed by the country’s Department of Environment (DOE) to handle e-waste for household since 2013.

The group will be investing in cutting edge technologies from Japan and Europe to ensure zero chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) escaping and to recover household e-waste up to 98%.

The emission of greenhouse gases comes in the form of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCHCs) that are commonly found in household e-waste.

With this, the group will be contributing to the country’s pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emission to 40% by the year 2020 as per the Copenhagen Accord 2009 as well as provide the infrastructure needed for the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for the household e-waste and CFC recycling and helping Malaysia to comply to Basel Convention.

“We have been working to get ready for this business since 2013.

“In 2013, besides having a team sent to Japan under the Jica programme, we also sent another team for training in Japan under a grant from the Japanese ministry of economy and trade industry.

(From left) Shan Poornam business development director MIcheal Saw, production director A. Raja and operation director Thinesh Kumar checking the copper recovery from the auto PCB recovery unit.
(From left) Shan Poornam business development director MI cheal Saw, production director A. Raja and operation director Thinesh Kumar checking the copper recovery from the auto PCB recovery unit.

“The team was trained by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation,” said Selvakumar.

He said the company would recycle household e-waste into raw materials that could be sold back to the manufacturer to produce home appliances, thus promoting eco-green product.

“Once we start handling electronic waste (or e-waste) from households, the contribution from the e-waste segment to the company’s revenue will be more than the current 30%.

In 2018, the company plans also to refine copper sourced from hazardous waste.

“We have completed developing the technology to refine copper extracted from hazardous waste,” he announced.

On expanding to another state, Selvakumar said the company was exploring another facility in Selangor.

“We currently have collection centres in Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Sarawak,” he disclosed.

The apparent stripping line.
The apparent stripping line.

According to Selvakumar, the company estimated an investment of RM34mil for technological innovation, compared to RM6mil in 2015.

“With our own in-house research and development (R&D) team, we design, innovate our process and formulate our own chemicals for e-waste and other waste management. Our cutting edge technology and equipment have given us the advantage to optimise our recovery and for better environmental management solution.

“The waste is not hazardous unless it is mismanaged and mishandled or processed in a non-environment-friendly manner,” he said.

According to Selvakumar, the company customised its processes and equipment for different types of waste generated.

“For example, similar waste generated by different companies may have to be processed differently as it may contain different ‘impurities’ due to the uniqueness of their product.

“Besides our own R&D, our technologies are supported with equipment sourced globally from Asia, Europe and the US,” he added.

The waste chemical process unit.
The waste chemical process unit.

As part of the company’s continuous improvement process to meet the international standards in quality management system, it will be working towards the accreditation of its lab.

In addition, the company will be enhancing its R&D lab to meet the challenges of new waste which will be generated with the fast-paced introduction of new products in this advanced technology age.

Shan Poornam was founded by S. Shanmugam Chettiar, who started the company at Lumut Lane to recycle gunny sacks in 1960.

Subsequently, the company ventured into recycling timber, scrap and cast iron at Timah Road on the island.

In 1987, Shan Poornam started the business of clearing industrial waste from the Free Industrial Zone.

In 1999, the company was repositioned as an industrial waste collection centre and trading house.

The hidden gold process unit.
The hidden gold process unit.

In 2006, the company obtained a “full recovery” licence as an integrated facility for e-waste recovery.

Today, it is an integrated environmentally-sound management plant operating 31 lorries with hazardous waste transportation permit.

Shan Poornam has offices elsewhere in the peninsula outside of Penang, besides Sabah and Sarawak.

The company took home the Gold award in “Best Green Initiative” category and Platinum award in “Best Innovation” category at The Star Outstanding Business Award (SOBA) 2015.

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