KOTA KINABALU, Nov 26 (Bernama) — The anti-coal campaigns in Belgium have heightened interests in Sabah’s biomass-based energy feedstock, said POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd.
POIC said it recently briefed the visitors, who were among delegates in a Belgian trade delegation on a visit to Malaysia and Singapore, of the company’s efforts in aggregating oil palm biomass by way of a biomass collection centre as well as a cooperative-type biomass joint-venture.
The delegation was impressed with Sabah’s biomass potentials, POIC said in a statement Wednesday.
Philippe Droesbeke, general manager of Belgian stevedoring giant, SEA Investhe, said the trend in Europe now was to replace coal with biomass-made pellets as fuel for the production of energy.
“Europe’s demand for pellets will grow steadily as more and more coal-fired power plants are being gradually converted,” he said.
SEA Invest is a privately-owned company operating 25 ports in eight countries. It has about 5,500 employees and has a annual tonnage turnover of more than 100 million tons.
During the visit Philippe was briefed, along with Port of Ghent chief operation officer, Hendrik-Jan van Engelen, on the development of the palm oil industrial cluster in Lahad Datu (POIC Lahad Datu).
Port of Ghent is a major Belgian sea port. Though smaller than its more famous sister port of Antwherp, Ghent, which is some 700 years old, is an established international port serving a large part of Europe.
Meanwhile, POIC Sabah chief executive officer, Datuk Dr Pang Teck Wai, said he looked forward to addressing the concerns of Ghent directors on the sustainability standards of Sabah’s oil palm.
“As a promoter of downstream oil palm industries, we are as concerned as everyone about the sustainability of the upstream sector.
“Malaysia, through our Ministry of Plantation Industry and Commodities is introducing the Malaysian Standard Palm Oil labelling which (similar to the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) mandates supply chain sustainability as a basic requirement for certification,” he said.
Pang said POIC Sabah was seeking partners to use POIC Lahad Datu as a base for developing logistics, ship- and shipping-related businesses to bring produces from this part of the world to markets globally.
Source : BERNAMA