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Ministry to implement housing project worth RM6b using Kenaf Building System

ISKANDAR PUTERI (April 19): A long-term housing project worth RM6 billion using the Kenaf Building System (KBS) will be implemented in the government's effort to introduce the technology nationwide.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said the project, which is a collaboration between the National Kenaf and Tobacco Board (LKTN) and several agencies, will require two million tonnes of kenaf and 20,000 hectares of kenaf plants within 10 years.

“It (this project) is now in the final process of discussion. We will officially announce this project in detail after the discussions are finalised,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between LKTN and KPRJ Builders Sdn Bhd (KBSB) here today.

Mohd Khairuddin said the ministry planned to commercialise KBS technology nationwide as it has the potential to speed up the construction period and even save energy consumption and construction costs between 20% and 30% compared to conventional methods.

He said the development of KBS technology would have a positive impact on the environment where kenaf plants absorbed 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per hectare and the use of the commodity-based building material in a house could store 28 tonnes of CO2 per 1,000 square feet.

“KBS is a good thermal insulation material that can save electricity, especially for air conditioners for a long time, as the main material is kenaf core which is light and environmentally friendly.

“The important aspects of its remarkable durability are being eco-friendly, lighter, cooling the environment and faster from the construction management standpoint than that of conventional methods,” he said.

“The area under kenaf cultivation nationwide is 2,000 hectares with Pahang and Kelantan having the largest kenaf cultivation while Johor has an area of 20 hectares cultivated by private smallholders.

Under the MoU, LKTN and KBSB will implement a pilot project based on KBS technology, namely the construction of 10 units of asnaf houses (each measuring 660 square feet) totalling RM550,000 in Mersing.

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