JAKARTA: Indonesia’s flag carrier will test its first commercial flight using jet fuel mixed with palm oil to reduce carbon emissions.
The Garuda Indonesia plane is set to fly from the capital Jakarta to Solo, President Joko Widodo’s hometown, on Friday using the J2.4 sustainable aviation fuel produced by PT Pertamina, the state-owned energy company.
The government expects wider adoption of the biofuel in aviation to grow the market to about 1.1 trillion rupiah (US$69 million) a year and pave way for exports.
Palm-based fuel may also offer a solution to the challenge of cleaning up emissions in the carbon-intensive industry, as countries around the world turn to subsidies and mandates for airlines to use less fossil fuel.
The sustainable fuel that will be used on Friday’s flight was made by mixing 2.4% refined bleach deodorised palm kernel oil with jet fuel in PT Pertamina’s Cilacap refinery. It was tested on a shorter flight earlier this month when the jet’s machine responded well and stayed in control.
Indonesia, the world’s top palm oil producer, is already mandating a biodiesel programme for land transportation this year to increase the use of palm oil content in diesel to 35%, the highest mix globally.
More use of the tropical oil in transportation would cement the nation’s position as top palm consumer and potentially limit supply to the global market.