Title: Feasibility of kenaf as bio-material for automotive components: the case of Malaysia

Authors: Chu Lee Ong; Mohd. Shahwahid Haji Othman; Paridah Md. Tahir; Elroda Abdelhalim Ibrahim Elhag

Addresses: Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia ' Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia ' Institute of Tropical Forest and Forest Products (INTROP), University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia ' Institute of Tropical Forest and Forest Products (INTROP), University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Abstract: Through almost two decades of kenaf research and development in Malaysia; kenaf is yet to venture into the automotive industry despite its technically viability. This study aims to uncover from the financial and economic viability perspective. The objectives of the study are (a) to identify the production processes and stages as well as to determine cost and benefits elements involved from kenaf cultivation to production of automotive components in Malaysia and (b) to conduct financial and economic feasibility assessment on cultivation and processing of kenaf for automotive components. The cost-benefit analysis had provided mixed results. The findings suggest that although kenaf applications in domestic automotive industry have positive potentials, yet more efforts are needed to increase kenaf competitiveness in Malaysia and policies are needed to encourage natural fibre adoptions in automotive industry.

Keywords: cost-benefit analysis; project evaluation; biocomposites; biomass applications; kenaf; automotive components; automobile industry; Malaysia; financial feasibility; economic feasibility; natural fibre.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGE.2015.075196

International Journal of Green Economics, 2015 Vol.9 No.3/4, pp.273 - 290

Available online: 07 Mar 2016 *

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