22 November 2023
The battle that you never knew was happening has been won; the Indonesian government has banned the use of illegally felled timber which was commonly used to fabricate wooden matting laid in lieu of bitumen roads which left significant environmental damage.
The decision ‘paved’ the way for Dura-Base® mats to become the sole choice in a country where inaccessibility is one of the largest challenges for companies attempting to access Indonesia’s wealth of natural resources.
Similar to the battle between online streaming and broadcast television (or VHS vs. Betamax, depending on your era), the more modern, efficient, accessible technology has won out. And while it may sound counterintuitive, the Indonesian government came to a resounding conclusion; composite mats are actually considerably better for the environment than the wooden alternative. So much so, in fact, that the government has not only banned the use of illegally felled timber, but is offers 100% cost recovery on approved programs of which Dura-Base® is a key product & service provision, which SAPEX possesses the exclusive licence and distribution agreement for.
While using wooden mats in a country that is increasingly becoming concerned about its carbon emissions may sound like a ‘natural’ solution, climate change scientists have identified that the deforestation of the Borneo rainforest is actually one of the largest contributing factors to the problem. Indonesia has one of the world’s largest areas of remaining forest, but also has one of the highest deforestation rates, ranking only behind Brazil.
The destruction of the Borneo rainforest in particular, through the logging of its rare 100-200 year-old dipterocarp trees has a significant knock-on effect, with each tree home to hundreds of insects and other fauna. On a global scale, these trees comprise the forests that are collectively responsible for producing much of the globe’s oxygen. However, huge swathes of these trees are being destroyed by the “timber mafias” – networks of illegal loggers, the activities of which the government will hopefully curtail through bans such as the one on wooden matting.
The use of composite mats is even better still than the other alternative, which is the construction of permanent roads to access the remotest regions of the country. It’s no secret that the construction of a road is a time consuming, expensive and an environmentally damaging process. Even worse can be the damage involved in pulling up a road when a project is complete; by comparison, matting systems leave little to no environmental damage, while still giving companies the access they require.
It’s no wonder then that these composite mats are now the choice of some of the biggest household oil, mining and energy giants in the world. Top tier and blue chip clients include Chevron, Halliburton, Newcrest, Exxon Mobil, Repsol, and a host more.
SAPEX has successfully begun to build a network of distribution agreements with national governments as well, who are recognising the value and environmental protections that the mats offer. SAPEX also possesses an exclusive licence and distribution agreement with Newpark Resources, the manufacturer of the mats themselves. With the Indonesian government offering a cost recovery program to companies that use SAPEX’s product, their path to success now seems clear.
SAPEX has successfully built an ongoing relationship with the Indonesian government’s Oil & Gas regulatory body, who have recognised the value and environmental protections that composite mats offer. SAPEX is looking to expand on its success by pursuing listing on the ASX in Q4 2018, which the company believes will provide a platform for even more rapid growth.