KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia will be ready to build rubberised roads in June next year, said Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
Uggah said some countries had undertaken research on the diverse uses of rubber, especially in the construction sector.
“Some of them have used natural rubber (NR) for road construction. Malaysia will also be one of them,” he said here Monday.
He said this at a media briefing after officiating the 7th Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries Annual Rubber Conference 2014, themed ‘Sustaining Equitable NR Economy’.
Uggah said if the price continued to be slow-moving, there was a possibility NR could be used to build rubberised roads.
He said Thailand, which has conducted trials, found that although the initial investment might be high, the maintenance costs would be low in the long run.
“The rubberised roads are equally good if not better than asphalt or bitumen roads. Thailand uses 3.3 tonnes of NR per km for the construction of the road.
Uggah said one of the immediate steps taken to support the NR industry was to replace some 50,000 hectares of rubber trees that were older than 20 years.
Earlier is his speech, Uggah said the government welcomed the proposal by the rubber producing associations in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia recently, not to sell at below US$1.50 per kg.
“Let this be the litmus test on our resolve and solidarity, in overcoming the current price crisis,” he said. – BERNAMA