Malaysia: Daiken to get timber from its plantation in 2 years
KUCHING: Japan’s Daiken Corp, which has invested some US$200mil in two medium density fibre (MDF) board plants in Sarawak, will start supplying raw materials from its tree plantation to local timber processing mills in two years.
Daiken Sarawak Sdn Bhd executive director Kazuyoshi Katsumata said the company was now in talks with some sawn timber and plywood mills to sell the fast growing acacia trees from its plantation which would mature from 2012.
“We have invested about US$7mil in planting about 3,000 ha of the acacia plantation in Bintulu. The remaining 2,000ha will be planted in one to two years,’’ he told StarBiz after the presentation of Daiken scholarships to three university undergraduates at the STA building here yesterday.
Daiken MDF plants in Bintulu and Miri now sourced about 80% of its raw materials (wood wastes) from sawmills and the remaining 20% from plywood mills, according to Katsumata.
He said Daiken ventured into the tree plantation project several years ago as the future of the sawmill industry had looked bleak due to the tight supply of raw materials.
The supply of plantation timber to the processing mills is to ensure constant supply of wood residues from these mills to Daiken MDF plants. Some sawmills in the state had ceased their operations in recent years.
Katsumata said the two Daiken MDF plants have been operating at full capacity, each producing about 10,000 cu m a month.
About 80% of its MDF boards are exported to Japan, 15% to other Asian countries and 5% sold locally.
“As the Japan market is weak now, the MDF board price is a bit down,’’ he said, adding that Daiken might plan for expansion of its plants if the demand and prices recovered. The earliest date for any expansin plans will be in two years’ time, according to Katsumata.
The Daiken plant in Bintulu was set up in 1993 while its Miri plant started operations four years ago.