According to a New Straits Times report, Malaysia is preparing to build its first rubberised roads in June 2015. Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities said this at a media briefing.
He explained that several countries have already begun research on the various uses of rubber, most notably in the construction field. “Some of them have used natural rubber (NR) for road construction. Malaysia will also be one of them,” he said.
Thailand has conducted trials with up to 3.3 tonnes of natural rubber per km for the construction of the rubberised roads. Results have indicated that although initial costs are high, the long-term maintenance is lower compared to the tarmac equivalent.
In preparation, Douglas has proposed to replace roughly 50,000 hectares of rubber trees that were older than 20 years. The government has also welcomed a move by various rubber producing associations in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to agree to not sell at below US$1.50 (RM4.88) per kg.