Boustead, Next Generation to develop algae plantation

They will produce carbon-neutral crude algae oil that would help reduce greenhouse gas

By S BIRRUNTHA

BOUSTEAD Holdings Bhd and Next Generation Oil Sdn Bhd (Next Gen) are jointly developing a new economic ecosystem with the use of renewable algae biofuel technology.

Boustead group MD Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly said both companies will develop the algae plantation and produce carbon-neutral crude algae oil that will help reduce greenhouse gas emitted by traditional fossil fuels.

“This includes the development of the world’s first 1,000-acre (405ha) algae plantation for the cultivation of algae, harvesting of algae biomass and the subsequent extraction of 1.8 million metric tonnes crude algae oil annually.

“Boustead and Next Gen share the same objectives in placing priority in the fight against climate change and global warming, while also creating new employment opportunities through the Algae Commercial Ecosystem that will help boost Malaysia’s economy,” he said at the signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Mohammed Shazalli said as part of the group’s new strategy, the renewable energy sphere offers a sustainable revenue stream over the medium to long term for the group.

He said the initiative will be supported by Boustead Plantations Bhd’s (BPB) ample landbank to build algae plantation facilities, as well as to create an alternative or complementary activity for BPB.

“Apart from several international oil majors from whom the Next Gen has secured offtake agreements for crude algae oil, we also have subsidiary Boustead Petroleum Marketing Sdn Bhd which operates about 400 BHPetrol stations nationwide,” he said.

Next Gen has developed the patented A-MAP technology, which is a fundamentally different microalgae cultivation and harvesting process that delivers higher yields on an industrial scale and at a commercially viable production cost.

Complimentarily, Boustead owns a large plantation landbank that is required for the development of large-scale algae plantations to meet the increasing global demand for biofuels.

Next Gen executive chairman Datuk Indera Mohamed Moiz J M Ali Moiz said with the A-MAP technology, the expected biofuel market of 300 million tonnes in 2030 can be cultivated on less than 67,582ha of land in Malaysia.

He hopes the company’s journey with Boustead will be the catalyst towards realising Malaysia’s ambitions of becoming a global leader for the production of crude algae oil, the vegetable oil of choice for biofuel production.

“This 1,000-acre project will see us employing about 2,000 Malaysian workers and will create many economic opportunities for Malaysians. It is our hope that resulting from upcoming discussions, Malaysia will see the development of not just 1,000 acres, but possibly even a million acres of algae plantations,” he added.

Next Gen has set a target of producing about 90,000 tonnes (558,000 barrels) of crude algae oil per day by 2025.

The group is committed to supplying about 4,300 tonnes per day or 1.4 million tonnes of crude algae oil per year with a sales value of US$750 million (RM3.09 billion) within the next 18 months, and expects to add another million tonnes per year in orders within the next few months.

With the support and energy from Boustead’s management team, the work on the first algae plantation is expected to start by the end of the third quarter of 2021 (3Q21) or the beginning 4Q21.

At close yesterday, shares of Boustead ended one sen or 1.69% lower at 58 sen for a market capitalisation of RM1.18 billion.