KOTA SAMARAHAN (Aug 24): Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) is targeting to start commercial production of bamboo bicycles and start selling them as early as January next year.

This was revealed by STIDC general manager Datu Hashim Bojet today, adding that STIDC is currently still working on perfecting the prototype of the bamboo bicycles.

STIDC first disclosed that they were working on a prototype of the bamboo bicycles last month.

“Before we could sell them, they must go through testing, inspection and certification by the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (Sirim) first.

“We want to ensure quality and safety of this product before we could sell them,” Hashim said during the Bamboo Bicycle Train the Trainer Course closing ceremony at the Pusaka Furniture Industrial Complex here.

Hashim also informed that STIDC is looking to produce four types of bamboo bicycles; namely the mountain bike, road bike, street bike and a leisure bike.

According to him, the entire chassis of the bicycles will be made with bamboo which are found in Sarawak due to the fact that the bamboo species is better suited for building bamboo bikes.

“The bamboo used to build these bicycles are commonly found throughout Sarawak and they are solid, which is why we decided to start this project,” he said.

One of the steps taken by STIDC before they eventually start selling the bamboo bicycles is to train people on how to make them.

For that matter, Hashim said that STIDC had enlisted the help of David Wang from Brook & Breeze, Shanghai and Professor Dr Zeng Weiren from China to train 15 Sarawakians in bamboo bike manufacturing.

“The Sarawakians who were trained by Wang and Dr Zeng have built the first four prototypes from scratch during a course conducted by the duo. The Sarawakians have since graduated from the bamboo bike course and received their certificate of participation,” he said.

With that, STIDC hopes that the trainers will train more Sarawakians to build bamboo bikes in the future.

The corporation also intends to introduce the bamboo bicycles to STIDC chairman Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and their other stakeholders before selling them.

It was reported last month that STIDC is seeking to develop products based on bamboo and glued laminated wood (Glulam wood) to help realise its efforts to achieve an export target of RM8 billion by 2030.

At that time, Hashim said there were high estimates of the potential climate change mitigation opportunity of using wood products, and Sarawak definitely has the right tools to produce such products.