Betolar starts to commercialise low-carbon hollow-core slabs in Malaysia

Finnish materials technology company Betolar has announced that it is starting to commercialise low-carbon hollow-core slabs with a precast concrete manufacturer based in Malaysia, in a move aimed to open a regional market for environment-friendly products. The manufacture of the product was piloted last year.

In Betolar’s Geoprime hollow-core slabs, instead of cement, the binder is mainly industrial side streams from nearby areas. The use of side streams instead of cement saves natural resources and is cost-effective.

“This is an excellent example of our strategy we updated a year ago, where we seek scaling opportunities from large-scale volume products in the construction industry in emerging markets,” said Ville Voipio, chief commercial officer of Betolar.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland supports Betolar’s commercialisation project with its Finnpartnership business partnership grant, which amounts to €370,000. The support is part of the official development cooperation of the Finnish government. The company will also invest the same amount of equity in the project.

‘Great need for construction in Asia’

The emerging economies in Asia are one of the focus areas of Betolar’s growth strategy. The company has been developing low-carbon hollow-core slabs in Finland for many years. The goal of the piloting in Malaysia is to create lasting solutions that can be scaled up in the construction sector and lower its environmental footprint over time.

“There is a great need for construction in Asian countries. Our low-carbon solutions help operators in the concrete industry and the entire construction value chain radically reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, we are strengthening circular economy solutions for the construction industry by utilising existing and new side stream materials found nearby,” explained Mr Voipio.

Betolar has previously received a loan of approximately €7 million from the State Climate Fund for the development of a data platform. Last year, Business Finland granted €2.7 million in R&D support for Betolar’s side stream research. This aid is also conditional on the company investing the same amount of equity.

“It is important that such subsidies allow us to reduce our risk in adopting new, environmentally friendly practices and opening up new markets. It promotes Finnish expertise in green technology and, in the long term, also benefits Finnish exports,” said Mr Voipio.