PUTRAJAYA: Currently thrown out as waste, by-products from the oil, forestry and agriculture sector could be worth RM17bil by 2030 in the biomass industry, says Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the industry would not just have a positive impact on the economy, but help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through the circular economy framework.
According to the National Biomass Action Plan 2023-2030 action plan, the industry is expected to generate about 32,844 jobs in seven years.
Fadillah said its potential could also be seen in the RM7bil in savings in the energy sector if biomass pellets instead of coal, are used to generate electricity.
“We have come up with clear plans for the biomass industry so that it will not just be an economic catalyst for the country but also for its stakeholders, particularly smallholders in the agro-commodity sector,” he told reporters after launching the National Biomass Action Plan 2023-2030 yesterday.
The action plan outlines Malaysia’s focus on the abundant biomass resources found in plantations, forests, agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors.
The estimated biomass produced from these sectors is about 202 million tonnes per year, 87% of which is derived from the oil palm industry.
Key breakthroughs envisioned in the plan include the implementation of a biofertiliser blending initiative, conversion of palm biomass into fuel pellets for export or co-firing with coal-fired power plants, development of bio-based carbonised products as well as interventions to reduce imported animal feed for improved food security.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that plans to set up biomass hubs were expected to take off next year, with 20 locations identified nationwide, adding that they would create a systematic and efficient chain of biomass collection and supply.
Fadillah said the action plan aimed to generate significant sustainable development benefits in terms of green wealth creation, socioeconomic development and meet Malaysia’s net-zero emission target.
“Malaysia is unwavering in its dedication to fortify the biomass sector, as well as aligning the sector with our nation’s ambitions and aspirations.
“The action plan marks a significant stride forward, a testament to our proactive endeavours aimed at catalysing economic expansion, bolstering sustainable development, augmenting industry exports and propelling the transition to a circular economy,” he added.
He expressed confidence that strong support for the biomass sector would serve as a catalyst to propel the country’s economy and foster job opportunities.