PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today urged the local palm oil industry to join the ranks of countries already using B20 biodiesel fuel such as Indonesia.
Noting that Indonesia had standardised the use of B20 biodiesel since January 2016, he said players in the Malaysian palm oil industry must be brave enough to explore new markets and prove that the country’s palm oil quality is one of the best.
“Today, our Indonesian neighbour has overtaken Malaysia and emerged as the largest producer of palm oil in the world.
“Indonesia has also successfully implemented the B20 programme (a blend of 20% palm methyl ester and 80% petroleum diesel) since January 2016 in its transportation sector without any problem.
“Now, the biodiesel programme in Indonesia has successfully reduced the import of diesel and strengthened the palm oil industry and the country’s economy,” he said at the launch of the B10 biodiesel fuel for the transportation sector here.
He voiced hope that the biodiesel programme would be taken seriously by the international trade and industry ministry in its drafting of the National Automative Policy.
“We should ensure that in the future, only diesel vehicles that can consume more than 10% biodiesel fuel are sold in Malaysia.
“Malaysia needs to improve on higher levels of (biodiesel) blend to strengthen the demand for domestic palm oil.
“I hope that all stakeholders will be fully prepared to accept the B20 biodiesel fuel by 2020,” he said.
Mahathir added that the biodiesel programme was important for the country as palm oil was the “golden crop” of Malaysia and had been supporting the country’s economy for a long time.
“The use of biodiesel will have a positive impact on the palm oil industry by reducing palm oil stocks and further stabilising palm oil prices,” he said.
It would also allow 650,000 palm oil smallholders to enjoy more stable prices and an increase in revenue, he added.
“The biodiesel programme will also help the country achieve its objectives in maintaining low carbon mobility as outlined in the mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan.”
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok said in November that petroleum companies had two months to switch from B7 (a blend of 7% palm methyl ester and 70% petroleum diesel) to B10 biodiesel before its mandatory implementation on Feb 1 next year.
She said the programme for B10 biodiesel – a blend of 10% palm methyl ester and 90% petroleum diesel – in the transportation sector would be implemented in phases beginning this month.
She added that the B7 programme for the industrial sector would be implemented beginning July 1 next year.
In her opening speech earlier today, she pleaded with local palm oil players to hold their imports of palm oil from other countries until local stocks have been reduced.
“I will be meeting these companies to speak to them,” she added.