O&G industry urged to make use of Southeast Asia's biomass resources

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 24): The oil and gas (O&G) industry should start exploring how to make use of the biomass resources available in Southeast Asia and incorporate them into its sustainable development plans, according to Petronas process technology manager Mok Thye Yee.

Mok, who is from the group technology solution, technology & engineering division, said O&G players should be looking at the long-term horizon rather than just sticking to conventional investments such as the petrochemical complex.

He noted that the adoption of sustainable technology is at various stages of progress in different economies.

"If you look at Europe, which is far more advanced, they already have a Renewable Energy Directive, which has set an ambitious target. But if you look at Southeast Asia, it is a developing economy and also very diverse in biomass because we have the tropical rainforest.

"My personal opinion is the oil and gas players in this region should really look at the sustainable initiatives by looking at what is available such as in Malaysia and Indonesia," he said during the question-and-answer session at a webinar entitled 'Achieving Sustainability and Productivity in Refining, Petrochemicals and Chemicals' today.

Mok was answering a question on the priorities on the usage of new technologies such as hydrogen and algae in Southeast Asia.   

Meanwhile, Thailand is the second-largest exporter of sugar after Brazil, which has led to big investments in polylactic acid from Europe to set up a manufacturing facility, making the country its main bioplastic producing hub.

"So, for instance, in Malaysia and Indonesia, we have palm oil cultivation. In the Philippines, we have coconut oil cultivation. The oil and gas industry should start exploring how to make use of these rich biomass resources available in this region and incorporate them into our sustainable technology plan," said Mok.

The session was moderated by British Chamber of Commerce Singapore's Energy and Utilities Business Committee chairman, Tim Rockell.

The webinar was organised by Clarion Events in partnership with Asian Downstream Summit and Asian Refining Technology Conference.