KUCHING, Oct 19 -- The Sarawak government is giving an emphasis on investments towards the development of green technology and alternative renewable energy sources such as biogas from sago waste, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said waste from the sago industry could be treated and help to ensure a cleaner environment compared to the previous practice of releasing the waste into the river and causing pollution.
"Among the products that can be produced from sago are for power generation, producing clean residual water, as well as producing biogas which contains methane gas,” he said at the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Craun Research Sdn Bhd and Knowledge Integrated Services Pte Ltd Singapore.
Craun Research has been entrusted to develop the distribution of bio-natural gas from sago waste to rural households, the brainchild of Abang Johari as an extension of the integrated sago wastewater recovery and treatment pilot plant which he launched on Nov 23 last year.
He said the biogas produced by the sago pilot plant would be purified and subsequently distributed as a green, sustainable and cheaper alternative source of cooking gas compared to the commercial liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and as a start, the distribution of the bio-natural biogas for cooking would benefit the residents of Kampung Teh and Kampung Tabo in Mukah, Sarawak.
"I feel it is timely for us to research on biogas that can be value added and used by the local community both for cooking and other purposes; therefore, I have given a special allocation for Craun to conduct the research,” he said.
Meanwhile, Craun chief executive officer Zaidell Hussaini said from the safety aspect, natural biogas with gas methane content of more than 90 per cent was safer to be used as cooking gas compared to LPG as methane was lighter from air so it would evaporate faster in the event of a leakage.
"From an industry perspective, the project is capable of increasing the sago value chain while paving an integrated solution to the environmental pollution problems arising from sago waste,” he said.
Sago is one of the major agricultural commodities that contribute to Sarawak's revenue, and as the leading sago producer in Malaysia, Sarawak exports sago starch produce worth between RM80 million and RM90 million every year.
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