Heavy Industry in Malaysia

Heavy industries in Malaysia are different from light industries in the sense that heavy industries are usually more capital intensive compared to light or medium industries; which means they require a lot of machinery and equipment.

A buffer zone, which is the area or distance between industries and residential areas, is introduced to distance the residential area from the area of activity to reduce the exposure to pollution.

Figure 1: Buffer Zones between Industrial Area and Residential Area

The buffer zones vary based on the specific activity carried out in the industry itself. Below are some examples of a few general activities which can be categorized under the Heavy Industry. There will be overlapping of activities of light, medium and heavy industries but the categorisations are mainly based on the scale of the activity itself.

Type of IndustryManufacturing activities
1. Animal Farming

Raising of farm animals including racing horses and other equines
2. Mining and QuarryingMining coal, lignite, iron ore, bauxite, gold, etc
3. Extraction of Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas Extraction of crude petroleum including extraction and onsite processes. Extraction of natural gas
4.  Mining of Metal OresMining metal ores other than uranium and thorium
5. Other Mining and Quarrying Mining and quarrying Quarrying stone such as marble granite sandstone, etc
6. Mining Support Service ActivitiesSupport activities for petroleum and natural gas extraction Support activities for mining and quarrying
7. Manufacture of Food Products Processing and preserving meats, fish, crustaceans and molluscusProduction of hides and skin and animal offal. Operation of animal slaughterhouse
8.  Manufacture of TextilesSpinning, weaving, and finishing of textiles Preparation and spinning of textile fibers.
9.  Manufacture of Leather and Related Products Tanning and dressing of leather; dressing and drying of fur
10.  Manufacture of Wood and of Products of Wood and Cork, except Furniture; Manufacture of Articles of Straw and Plaiting Materials Sawmilling and planning of wood Manufacture of products of wood, cork, straw and plaiting materials
11.  Manufacture of Paper and Paper ProductsManufacture of pulp, paper, and paperboard Manufacture of bleached, semi-bleached or unbleached paper pulp by mechanical, chemical or semi-chemical process from virgin wood
12.  Manufacture of Coke and Refined ProductsManufacture of coke and oven productsManufacture of refined petroleum products
13.   Manufacture of Chemicals and Chemical ProductsManufacture of chemicalsManufacture of organic and inorganic chemicals except for nitric acid
14.   Manufacture of Rubber and Plastic ProductsManufacture of rubber tyres and tubes
15.   Manufacture of Other Non-metallic Mineral ProductsManufacture of glass, cement, lime, clinkers, and refractory products.
16.  Manufacture of Basic Metals Manufacture of iron and steel Operation of the blast furnace, steel converters
17.  Manufacture of Fabricated Metal Products, except Machinery and Equipment Manufacture of structural metal products, tanks, weapons, ammunition. Forging, pressing, stamping and roll-forming of metal
18.  Manufacture of Other Transport EquipmentBuilding ships and boats, railway locomotives, air and spacecraft machinery and military fighting devices.
19.  Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning SupplyElectric power generation, transmission and distribution Manufacture of gas; distribution of gaseous fuels through mains
20. Waste Collection, Treatment, and Disposal Activities; Materials RecoveryWaste treatment and disposal

A primary buffer zone is an area or distance which is located outside the designated area for the project or proposed activity. The table shown below shows the criteria for an industry to be considered as heavy industry and the minimum primary buffer zone for it:

CategoryIndustry/Activity DescriptionPrimary buffer zone requirement
HeavyHigh pollution potential and risk due to fire, explosion, radiation, and/or highly hazardous chemicals. High air pollution potential (including odour) from residual pollutants in air emissions (fugitive and source emissions). High potential for the emission of greenhouse gases and/or ozone-depleting substances. Excessive noise and/or vibration exceeding safe limits. Generate large quantities of wastewater containing significant levels of residual pollutants. Use large quantities of raw materials with the potential to cause significant fugitive emissions during handling, transfer and storage. Generate significant amounts of scheduled wastes that are difficult to treat or manage.Greater or equal to 300 m.  Buffer distance for specific processes/polluting sources that are difficult to control effectively may require greater buffer distances. The actual buffer is to be determined by modeling studies.

If it is unsure whether the activity planned falls under Light, Medium or Heavy industry, the Department of Environment (DOE) should be consulted for further information. A professional engineer could also be consulted so that a proper buffer zone can be assigned to avoid future complications.