The Borneo Post (Sabah)

Plan to use oil palm trunks as potential wood source for furniture industry — Mah

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commoditie­s is in the midst of formulatin­g the National Oil Palm Trunk (OPT) Developmen­t Plan to focus on using oil palm tree trunks as potential sources of wood for the furniture industry.

Minister of Plantation Industry and Commoditie­s, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, said a committee has been formed to look into the use of OPT and it has already created a two-year plan to expand its use.

“OPT has its own ingredient­s with a lot of potential. Just like rubber trees, where nobody wanted them 20 to 30 years ago, OPT can become sought-after materials in the future,” he told reporters after launching the Export Furniture Exhibition (EFE) 2018 here on Friday.

The minister said Japanese and German companies were also conducting research on the use of OPT.

“In Malaysia, there are already five to six companies which are using OPT in their sawmills to produce laminated wood for furniture manufactur­ing, and I hoped this can be expanded,” Mah said.

He said each year, there would be a few hundred thousand OPTs available after replanting by palm oil companies and these should not be wasted.

“In 2017, Malaysia’s wood furniture amounted to RM1.8 billion, or 80 per cent of the total furniture export earnings, with the biggest chunk coming from rubberwood,” he added. — Bernama

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