FGV enhances its commitment to best management agriculture practices for sustainable biodiversity through the setting up of its Bio Dewatering Plant and Bio Polishing Plant at its subsidiary, Pontian United Plantation (PUP).
With the dewatering plant, PUP’s Pontian Fico palm oil mill is able to remove solids from its effluent whilst the polishing plant is able to further filter the effluent water to achieve below 20 ppm (parts per million) of biological oxygen demand (BOD), which is a mandatory requirement by the Department of Environment for mill located in the vicinity of the Kinabatangan river.
FGV Group President and CEO Dato’ Zakaria Arshad said the Group continues to strive for better environmental protection particularly around its plantations and assets through best agriculture practices and best management practices.
Dato’ Zakaria showing the filtered water to En Aliudin of Sandakan DOE at the Bio Polishing plant
“The management is aware of the consequences that may affect the biodiversity surrounding PUP, especially to the Kinabatangan River, which is the source of livelihood for the wildlife sanctuary and famous for its flora and fauna.
“We are proud to announce that our mill has achieved BOD of below the 20 pmm limit set by DOE. The filtered water from the mill is then channelled through our irrigation system to the plantation, which is vital especially during the dry season. We also use the removed solids from the dewatering plants as organic fertiliser,” said Dato’ Zakaria.
The establishment of the two plants demonstrates FGV’s commitment to ensure water quality is maintained throughout the plantation without any adverse effect to the rivers.
“Our commitment to the environment is not only limited to ensuring that rivers are kept clean and safe, FGV has signed a 5-year joint project with the Borneo Conservation Trust (BCT) and the Sabah Wildlife Department to form a mega biodiversity corridor in the lower Kinabatangan, in a conservation programme to maintain the riparian reserve for wildlife and environment protection,” he added.
Also present at the launch were representatives from DOE and government and non-governmental bodies. The launch was held in conjunction with Dato’ Zakaria’s three-day visit to PUP.
Later in the afternoon, Dato’ Zakaria also launched a new building for the HUMANA learning centre for the children of PUP’s foreign workers.
“FGV cares for the welfare of all of its employees and is committed to provide better infrastructure and facilities in its plantations throughout the Group.
“In addition to comfortable housing, medical facilities, sports and recreation areas and places of worship, FGV has also allocated a substantial fund to build a new building for this learning centre in order for our worker’s children to learn in a conducive environment,” added Dato’ Zakaria.
PUP has been engaging the services of Borneo Child Aid Society; a Malaysian based Non-Profit Organisation to operate learning centres in its estates. The learning centre ensures that employee’s children receive proper education despite being in a secluded area and far away from town.