KOTA KINABALU – POIC expresses its support on the proposal for the State government for a solid waste disposal policy to be enacted in a very near future. This is to enhance and harmonise the Sabah State government push for expansion in industrialisation.
Under the Sabah Maju Jaya 2021-2025 development blueprint, Sabah aims to increase contribution to the State GDP via industrialisation from the current 8%.
“With investors being increasingly conscious about the need for environmental governance as a result of global demand, a proper set of laws will enhance Sabah’s attraction as a manufacturing destination and improve our chances of achieving our State development goals,” said Datuk Fredian Gan, the Chief Executive Officer of POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd, which is developing the POIC Lahad Datu industrial park and POIC Lahad Datu Port.
He was responding to a recent news report on irregular waste disposal practices and inadequacies in solid waste management legislations.
The issue surrounded the alleged leakage of residue hexane, a hazardous gas by a plant that processed spent bleaching earth (SBE).
SBE is a clay which is a by-product of palm oil refineries. Hexane is a petroleum based organic compound used in the process of extracting traces of oil from the SBE.
SBE by itself is considered flammable because it contains residue palm oil. But there is as yet no law governing solid waste disposal.
“We in POIC Sabah subscribe to the ESG (Environment, Sustainability, Governance) principle and mandate our investors to be in compliance of existing laws.
“We have been working within the government to move towards plugging any gaps in the laws to ensure that flouters do not benefit from any loopholes whilst those in compliance are not a disadvantage.”
Datuk Gan assured that POIC Sabah is working closely with the relevant authorities in monitoring the situation in POIC Lahad Datu industrial park development.
He credited an operator who is fully compliant in respect to sustainable practices in a processing plant located at POIC Lahad Datu. Aside from residual oil (used for biofuel production) the operator also produces what it called eco processed Pozzolan that can be used to complement cement as a by-product.
Meanwhile, he said POIC Sabah took cognizance of concerns about the absence of laws on solid wastes and the importance of strict regulatory compliances.