January 16, 2008 (Emerging Energy News) – Malaysia, one of the world’s largest palm oil exporters, looks set to follow the lead of neighbouring countries in mandating the use of biodiesel blend in fossil fuel transport. “We are looking at 2008 in terms of slowly implementing a 2-per cent blend at least,” Sabri Ahmad, chairman of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, told the Reuters Global Agriculture and Biofuel Summit from Kuala Lumpur. “We must implement because neighbouring countries like Thailand and Indonesia have made it mandatory.”
Thailand plans to launch a B2 mandate, requiring a two per cent biodiesel content in the nation’s diesel consumption from Feb. 2.
Indonesia recently signalled intentions to raise the biofuel content at the pump to reduce oil dependency. Evita Legowo, secretary at the National Biofuel Development Team told local reporters, the government plans to increase bioethanol blend in gasoline to five percent by 2010 from three percent, using cassava and cane molasses.
Biodiesel blend in diesel oil will be maintained at 2.5 per cent in view of soaring palm oil prices while the country seeks to boost the output of jatropha, a non-food biodiesel feedstock, she added.
Palm oil prices had repeatedly breached new high over the last 12 months, along with an increase in demand for the use of the vegetable oil in food and fuel. Critics have blamed the competing use of palm oil as fuel rather than food for the recent supply crunch in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.