I had the pleasure of moderating a session featuring several presentations from some Malaysian agencies and companies at the BIO World Congress last May, and I learned about their plans on how to deal with their palm biomass through POIC (Palm Oil Industrial Cluster) Sabah Sdn Bhd, a company owned by the state government of Sabah. Sabah is Malaysia’s largest palm oil producing state.
POIC is the first dedicated palm oil industrial cluster in Malaysia. The goal is to capture high-value added downstream processing of palm oil especially in the use of biomass. POIC still has a lot of challenges in terms of making their biomass supply chain as efficient as possible but the Malaysian government is currently working on this, hence the POIC biomass project.
Some of the challenges involved include costly transportation for biomass because of its high moisture content and bulk; not sufficient biomass supply per mill for use in large-scale downstream needs; and the mills belong to different owners. According to POIC, each mill in Sabah generates around 20,000 dry metric tons of biomass per year.
The Malaysian government is trying to solve some of these issues by aggregating biomass collection and processing through POIC, and formation of a biomass joint venture cluster model.
Here is a video explaining these business models: