Curtin Sarawak and Celtex Resources seal collaborative research agreement

Miri – 23 December 2011 – Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) signed a Collaborative Research Agreement (CRA) with Celtex Resources Sendirian Berhad, a subsidiary company of KTS Resources Sendirian Berhad, to undertake research related to the palm oil industry today.

The signing ceremony was attended by Dr. Lim Choon Yang, Director/Senior General Manager, Projects & Special Functions, KTS Resources Sdn. Bhd.; Mr. Wong Lin Siong, General Operation Manager for Processing Division, Bintulu Lumber Development Sdn. Bhd.; as well as Professor Alistair Inglis, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Curtin Sarawak; Prof. Aaron Goh, Acting Dean of Research and Development and Director of the Curtin Sarawak Research Institute (CSRI); and other representatives from the university.

With the signing of the agreement, Curtin Sarawak and Celtex Resources will collaborate to undertake a 3-year research and development project aimed at improving the management of palm wastes produced by palm oil mills, as well as developing a more efficient and sustainable technology for the treatment of palm-based wastes.

Curtin Sarawak will contribute in the areas of research expertise, facilities as well as infrastructure. A total of five researchers, including two research students, will be involved in this collaborative research project. Celtex Resources, on its part, has committed a total of RM220,000 towards funding the project.

The signing marks another milestone for Curtin Sarawak in forging strategic partnerships with local industries and build its research and development reputation in this region.

The university is committed to playing a major role in contributing to the development of Sarawak, and particularly to the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), both in terms of developing skilled manpower as well new technologies in the relevant industries.

Curtin Sarawak is also on track to increase its research portfolio to turn biomass into wealth.  This is in line with Malaysia’s ambitions to develop new biomass sectors that create higher value-added economic activities as outlined in the National Biomass Strategy launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in November 2011.

The university has already embarked on projects to develop new technologies including gasification and pelletisation to convert oil palm biomass into biofuels. In addition, it recently celebrated its first two PhD graduates in the area of control and optimisation of fermentation process to produce bioethanol.

On top of that, Curtin Sarawak is embarking on new collaborations to create opportunities from biomass. One of them is with Professor Dr. Taufiq Yap, an award-winning professor with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), who has joined the Curtin Sarawak Research Institute (CSRI) as a Visiting Professor and will be engaged in research in recovering biofuels from biomass at the institute.

Curtin Sarawak researchers are also part of a successful team of researchers based at the University of Malaya which has managed to obtain a RM2 million grant to produce hydrogen biofuels through the hydrolysis of biomass.

Yet another new collaboration is with the National Metal and Materials Technology Centre in Thailand where the university will be developing methods to recover functional ingredients from biomass.

For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at or e-mail

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