How charcoal is made? Producing charcoal is a time consuming process. Most of the process is manually done.
The charcoal factory in Matang (Kuala Sepetang) is located right in the middle of a spectacular mangrove forest. Kuala Sepetang is located in north Malaysia, near the old town of Taiping. Mangrove forest is an important part of the ecosystems around the world and in Malaysia there is fortunately quite some left.
Mr. Chuah Chow Aun is the second generation in the family who own a charcoal factory since the 1930’s. It all start with harvesting the mangrove trees. The trees need a certain size which is reached after 30 years. When an area is harvested, new trees are planted and that area is not touched then for 30 years. The trees are transported with the high tide into the factory. Trees can not be processed with the bark so workers clean the trees. Then the trees are transported to igloo like cones were the baking process starts.
These cones are all handmade without any architecture drawing design.This cone is used for around 15 years. Once the cone is finished, the logs are brought inside and heated. The process is in fact very simple and complicated at the same time. It’s all about the right temperature, so the process have to be monitored 24 hours a day.
From the highway, choose Changat Jering junction and follow the direction to Taiping. At the crossroads where you choose right to Taiping, you have to follow the direction to Kuala Sepetang, which is 11 km away. Just before arriving in Kuala Sepetang you will find the Mangrove forest sanctuary. Opposite of the forest is Mr. Chuah’s factory, a highly recommended visit!