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KUCHING: Sarawak is expected to attract RM120mil investment in an engineered wood plant project, which will utilise timber from planted forests for its manufacturing activities.
Upon commissioning, the plant is projected to generate annual earnings of RM78mil, according to the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corp (STIDC), which is spearheading the project.
STIDC has teamed up with Australia’s Tilling Timber Pte Ltd and Johore-based Woodsfield Glulam Manufacturing Sdn Bhd on joint collaboration of the project.
The parties have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to conduct a feasibility study for a joint-venture investment in the engineered wood plant project.
The MoU signatories were STIDC general manager Datuk Hashim Bojet, Woodsfield managing director Eddie Ling Lee Tee and Tilling Timber managing director Glenn Tilling.
Sarawak Deputy Premier and International Trade, Industry and Investment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan witnessed the signing ceremony in Australia a week ago.
Established in 1963, the Tilling Group manufactures and distributes its own unique range of engineered wood products known as SmartFrame.
Woodsfield Glulam is the pioneer in the introduction of “glulam” technology using tropical hardwood timber. The company has completed projects in Malaysia and overseas using Malaysia’s tropical hardwood “glulam” timber.
“Woodsfield Glulam will be in charge of transferring the technology on the manufacture of engineered wood based on its experience in commercial production while Tilling Timber will be in charge of developing and securing the market for the engineered wood products.
“The STIDC shall facilitate the proposed investment and material requirements,” STIDC said in detailing their respective roles in the tie-up.
The STIDC said the engineered wood plant project represents the state’s commitment to promote high-value products made from planted forest material.
With the collaboration and investment, STIDC said it would promote the use of engineered wood in housing and building construction, which is in line with Sarawak’s goals of promoting green development, environmental sustainability and carbon storage.
In 2007, STIDC set up its forest plantation resource unit to carry out activities related to the establishment, development and monitoring of forest plantations in Sarawak.
The unit assists STIDC in the promotion of forest plantation establishment as an alternative to raw material for the downstream wood processing industries.
Based on Sarawak Forest Department figures, some 520,000 ha in Sarawak have been planted with fast-growing commercial timber species, predominately acacia mangium.