The Charcoal Industry of Matang - started in 1930's. Until today the same
method of production continues. A Kiln shaped like an igloo is used. Each kiln has a standard size of 6.7m in
diameter and a height of about 7m. It requires about 22,000 pieces of red bricks plastered with a mixture of clay
and very fine sand to build a kiln. The kiln has six openings and a door in the front. The approximate life span of
a kiln varies from 3 years to as long as 10 years, depending on the foundation. Each kiln has a capacity
of 40 tonne of raw wood.
The production of charcoal takes three main stages:
First, the wood are stacked vertically inside the kiln and - it's called
The Big Fire is started. This process is burnt continuously non-stop for 5 to 7 days. Then, the second stage called
The Small Fire begins. This is also burnt non-stop for 7 to 10 days. This is the most important period of burning.
An expert worker will be able to determine the completion of burning just by the smell and the colour of the vapour
from the kiln.
Hence, once this is ready, all the openings and the door are completely sealed and
the kiln is allowed to cool down. This is known as The Cooling Stage, this will take 10 to 13 days.
The complete processes of charcoal production will take approximately 30 days. Each kiln yields about 1 tonne
Charcoal Kiln at Kuala Sepetang, location map