No issues reported with B10 biodiesel so far, says Teresa Kok

Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok (centre) and MPOB director-general Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir (4th from left) with representatives from the government and petroleum companies at today’s MoA signing.

KUALA LUMPUR: Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok says the government has not received any complaints on the B10 biodiesel since it was introduced in February, as the country looks to introduce B20 biodiesel next year.

At a press conference after an event today, Kok said the government had been actively engaging original engine manufacturers (OEMs), the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, various government ministers, agencies and other industry players on the implementation of B20.

The government has been pushing for the adoption of B20, a blend of 20% palm methyl ester and 80% petroleum diesel.

Some car companies and transport associations had opposed the implementation of B10 biodiesel due to its supposed impact on vehicles.

Kok said the adoption of B20 would have a positive impact on palm oil prices, citing the recent increases following Indonesia’s announcement on the introduction of B30 next year as well B20 in Malaysia.

“It is one way to get the price up. When the price of palm oil goes up, the whole value chain will benefit.

“There are some three million people who are directly and indirectly involved in the palm oil industry.”

Earlier, Kok witnessed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) signing between the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and five petroleum companies: Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd, Petron Malaysia Refining and Marketing Sdn Bhd, Chevron Malaysia Limited and Boustead Petroleum Marketing Sdn Bhd.

The companies agreed to carry out the engineering design for upgrading their terminals to cater to B20 and the future implementation of B30.

The government will fork out RM35 million towards studies for these upgrades which involve 35 terminals nationwide.

The studies, which are expected to be completed in the next few months, will establish the costs of upgrading.

Kok said the government will then discuss funding for the upgrades with the petroleum companies.

She said there would be a need to develop a biodiesel stabilisation fund, something she is presently discussing with the finance ministry.

The discussions include a proposal for a portion of the 3% windfall tax imposed on producers once palm oil prices hit RM2,500 per metric tonne to be channelled towards the stabilisation fund.

“The finance ministry has agreed (and) we are still in discussions with them,” she said, adding that the details still need to be worked out.