The charcoal industry is one of the oldest industries in Kuala Sepetang, Taiping. The production process requires both expertise and patience.
The process of burning mangrove wood in the igloo-shaped stove is divided into several stages and takes about a month.
The initial process begins with the burning of a large fire followed by a small fire for 20 days before the igloo-shaped stove (furnace) is completely closed for another 10 days for the cooling process.
The coal-burning process needs to be controlled 24 hours a day to ensure that there are no leaks on the furnace walls. If there is a leak that is not noticed, the wood in the furnace can burn to ashes and can cost thousands of ringgit.
Next, the cooling process is also the most critical time and requires close control to ensure that the coal in the furnace does not burn to ashes.
The mangrove charcoal produced in Kuala Sepetang has the best quality in the world and is in high demand from overseas including Japan, Arabia and Korea.
In addition to being fuel, charcoal is also used in the manufacturing industry for cosmetics, detergents, fertilisers, mosquito repellents and piling sticks.