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MPOB urges investors to explore opportunities in Malaysia’s oleochemical sector

30/09/2022 12:31 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 (Bernama) -- Investors should explore opportunities in Malaysia’s palm-based oleochemical sector as global demand for oleochemical products is rising, said the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

Director-general Datuk Dr Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir said global demand for value-added products such as industrial chemicals, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, food supplements and pharmaceutical products is growing as there is a need to address the global demographic and social changes, increasing wealth as well as improvement in well-being due to rapid urbanisation.

According to a report by market research firm IMARC Group, the global oleochemicals market has reached US$22.5 billion (US$1=RM4.63) in 2021.

The report said global demand for oleochemicals may increase to US$33.9 billion by 2027, with a high compounded annual growth rate of 7.2 per cent throughout 2022-2027.

“This shows that the global oleochemicals market is growing rapidly with a high demand for oleochemicals.

“As such, investors should explore and invest in the country’s high potential palm-based oleochemical sector, backed by MPOB’s continuous research and development initiatives,” he said in a statement today.

Ahmad Parveez said, for example, investing in Sabah and Sarawak has great potential for success as currently, there is no oleochemical plant operating in both states.

Investors can benefit from the uninterrupted supply of palm oil and palm kernel oil for their oleochemical business, he added.

Sarawak has the largest oil palm planted area in Malaysia while Sabah is the country’s biggest palm oil producing state.

As of August this year, there are 50 refineries, 42 palm kernel crushing plants and 20 oleochemical plants operating in Malaysia.

He said MPOB’s research and development (R&D) activities for the oleochemical downstream sector cover eight main areas namely surfactants, polyols and polyurethanes, cosmetics, agrochemicals, art chemicals, bio-lubricants, technology and the environment.

MPOB provides pilot plant facilities and technical know-how for feasibility studies and offers quality control and setting services.

Many palm-based oleochemical products produced through R&D activities have been commercialised and these include cosmetics, personal care products, detergents, plastic materials, polymer processing materials, pharmaceutical creams and lubricating oils, pesticide formulations, concrete admixtures, gel candles, automotive cushions, decorative panels, sanitisers and shower gels.

He noted that MPOB’s formulation can reduce the cost of animal feed which is rising due to the high prices of imported raw ingredients such as corn and soybean for feed meals, which is of concern to local feed manufacturers.

“The use of oil palm by-products in animal feed is one of the strategies to increase livestock productivity and sustainability while reducing the cost of feed production and concurrently, lowering the reliance on imported feed materials,” he said.

Besides, he said, oil palm biomass can be a raw material for many products such as medium density fiberboards, particleboards, pulps and papers, plastic composites, and bio-composites and it is also used for bio-energy.

Oil palm biomass can be a good alternative to replace wood in many applications, he added.

“We have also developed technologies for extracting and retaining carotenoids in refined, bleached and deodorised palm oil.

“A few manufacturers have adopted these technologies and are now producing red palm oil specifically to meet the demand for healthy lifestyle cooking and eating,” he said.


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