R&D Paves Way for ECER Kenaf Composite Factory

28 May 2008

Kenaf downstream company, Symphony Advance Sdn Bhd (SASB), has begun discussions with Sirim and Mardi to conduct research and development on kenaf polymer, prior to establishing a production facility in the East Coast Economic Region.

""A site has already been identified in Terengganu and operations are expected to start as soon as the supply of kenaf is stabilised,"" said Iman Shah Ismail, managing director of SASB, in a statement here Friday.

Kenaf is a fast growing plant that can be processed into natural fibre composites which can be used for car interiors and building boards. Venturing into kenaf composite is a natural progression for SASB as the company currently exports kenaf powder to Japan and South Korea.

Its operations started in February by milling kenaf at the National Tobacco Boards facility. It has recently started a RM1 million collection, processing and marketing centre in Beris Lalang.

Iman Shah said SASB planned to export kenaf composite materials to its business partners in industrialised countries. ""Kenaf powder is used in composite materials and we forecast demand for kenaf worldwide to be huge, especially in composite materials. This is because kenaf is an environmentally-friendly industrial plant and organic material recognised by the Kyoto Protocol to mitigate global warming. When kenaf is used in composite materials, companies can enjoy special tax incentives when they are exported to the European Union and the US,"" he said.

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