MIRI: The RM60.6 million Sarawak Biovalley Pilot Plant developed by the Sarawak government is the only facility in East Malaysia which can act as a bridge between laboratory scale studies and commercial production in the bio-economy.
The plant was constructed to support the development of new bio-based products and processes and provide research and development facilities to assist industries in phytochemical and bio-processes, high-quality testing and development facilities for industries in product analysis, product enhancement and quality assurance, as well as infrastructure and facilities for incubators.
Professor Mienczakowski said the world-class plant’s facilities would become key research and development facilities for the state.
The recent signing of collaborations between the Sarawak Research and Development Council (RDC) and Curtin Biovalley Sdn Bhd (CBV) and University of Cambridge will boost research development in the state.
In his statement, he said the partnership with CBV also facilitated the execution of contract research and training for industry and research agencies as part of the government’s strategy to develop Sarawak’s bio-economy.
The plant provides the opportunity to scale up using industry-relevant processes and equipment. The bench scale results achieved by various research institutions and industry in Sarawak and rest of the country, as well as quantitative data from such pilot planting, are necessary to evaluate whether commercial production will be justifiable against the investment which will be needed to go into production, he said.
The plant has a phytoprocess floor where the development of research on the extraction of compounds of commercial value from plants is conducted.
The feature which distinguishes the facility from others in Sarawak and elsewhere in Malaysia is its appropriate scale and the type of equipment for assessing economic viability for commercial production.
Last Friday (Dec 6), Sarawak RDC signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with CBV, a subsidiary company of Curtin Malaysia Sdn Bhd, to manage, operate and maintain the Sarawak Biovalley Pilot Plant located at the Curtin University Malaysia campus.
Sarawak RDC was represented by its general manager Associate Professor Ts Dr Peter Morin Nissom and State Education, Science, and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong, while CBV was represented by its directors Datuk Seri Fong Joo Chung and Haji Azmi Haji Bujang.
Signing as witnesses were Sarawak RDC deputy general manager Dr Ivan Yap Kok Seng and CBV director Freddie Panau.