Myanmar Aims to Increase Exports of Rice Husk-to- Biomass Products

Some Myanmar businesses are hoping to receive technical and financial support from the government to convert rice husks into biomass products for export purposes. Rice husks are the hard protecting layers covering each grain of rice.

These are discarded during the rice milling process and can be converted into building materials, fertilisers, insulation material or fuel.

Last week, the Myanmar Rice Federation said companies involved in the rice husk-to-fuel conversion business, would be eligible to apply for small and medium enterprise (SME) loans to fund expansion. Workshops will also be conducted to train businesses on technique and know-how on converting rice husks to bio mass fuels.

One rice mill owner, Dr Hla Phone, is among those planning to apply for the loan and participate in the workshops. Dr Hla Phone first set up his K70 million rice mill in the Sagaing industrial zone in 2014. He began exporting rice husk ash (RHA) to Japan in 2015. RHA is generated when rice husks are burnt as boiler fuel when processing paddy.

“Demand from Japan is currently 100 tonnes per year but I am only able to export 20 tonnes per year because of the lack of technical support,” he told The Myanmar Times. “After attending the workshops, if my factory is able to run at full capacity, we can produce much more biomass fuel from the rice husks for export purposes.”

With the additional SME loan, Dr Hla Phone is also planning to build additional storage facilities for discarded rice husks near his existing mill.

Ko Phyo Thura, secretary for Shwe Bo industrial zone, said he expects to produce more biomass products if he receives loan support from the government. He points out that there are 30 rice mills at Shwe Bo with the capacities to process between 30 tonnes and 100 tonnes of rice grains.

However, because the mills lack know-how on converting discarded rice husks to reusable fuels, “we end up wasting a high volume of rice husks and RHA,” he said.


Source: The Myanmar Times


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