BINTULU, Nov 1 (Bernama) -- The Sarawak government took another step closer in its quest to achieve 10,000 hectares (ha) of commercial bamboo plantations via a collaboration between Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC), Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) and Pertama Ferroalloys Sdn Bhd today.
Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg witnessed the exchanges of memoranda of understanding (MoU) between the three parties.
STIDC general manager Zainal Abidin Abdullah, BDA general manager Datuk Abdul Yakup Kari and Pertama Ferroalloys general manager Yuri Nakamura represented their respective organisations.
Deputy Premier and Second Minister for Natural Resources and Urban Development Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the MoUs aim to achieve mutual understanding among the partners involved in a greening programme within the Samalaju area near here using bamboo.
"STIDC will provide a sustainable supply of raw materials to Pertama Ferroalloys to complement wood charcoal and to encourage the local community to work in bamboo plantations to improve their socio-economy," he said in his speech which was read by Sarawak’s Natural Resources and Urban Development Deputy Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh.
Awang Tengah said BDA has identified about 100 ha in Samalaju for a bamboo plantation while Pertama Ferroalloys has about 40 ha in the mill site to cultivate bamboo.
Abang Johari also said STIDC has sealed similar deals with several timber companies to plant bamboo in their concessions apart from today’s partnership.
The collaborations with Pertama Ferroalloys as well as with the timber companies is a strategy to expand Sarawak’s bamboo plantations.
There must be demand for the bamboo (planted), such as for making bamboo pellets or any other uses, he told reporters, adding that the plantations are part of the state government’s planted forest initiative to generate resources for renewable energy.
"(Bamboo) pellets can be similarly used like charcoal. Coal is hydrocarbon but (pellets) are fibre," he said.
Pertama Ferroalloys will use bamboo pellets to fuel furnaces to produce alloy products at the Samalaju Industrial Park plant here, he said.
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