October 30, 2007 (Bernama.com) – A total of 91 biodiesel projects with production capacity of 10.193 million tonnes per year were approved by end-September this year, Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry’s Parliamentary Secretary Senator Datuk Dr S. Vijayaratnam said Tuesday.
From the number, four biodiesel plants with production capacity of 300,000 tonnes per year have started operations while another six plants with capacity of 471,000 tonnes have been completed and were undergoing trial runs, he said.
Biodiesel production totalled 158,000 tonnes from August 2006 to September 2007 while exports amounted to 121,000 tonnes valued at RM304 million, he added.
Vijayaratnam said to promote the use of biofuel based on palm oil, the National Biofuel Policy has outlined five percent of biofuel usage for the transport sector.
This could help reduce the use of diesel in the transport sector, estimated at 10 million tonnes each year currently, by 500,000 tonnes annually, he said in reply to a question from Syed Hood Syed Edros Alhaj (BN-Parit Sulong) at a Dewan Rakyat session.
Asked whether the government has plan to set up a national biodiesel board to ensure more orderly development, Vijayaratnam said there was no such plan at the moment.
He said the biofuel industry laws which have been approved should enable the industry to function effectively.
Vijayaratnam also said that the Malaysian Palm Oil Council has taken measures to ensure that palm oil production does not affect the environment as alleged by non-governmental bodies (NGOs).