Malaysia to Push for 3 Percent Blend Biodiesel by Year-End

MALAYSIA is likely to reduce its local biodiesel blend to B3 from the current B5 mandate, due to the slow usage and costly government subsidy. “We want to push for B3 (3 per cent blend). I will be presenting a paper to the Cabinet. Hopefully, it will be done by the end of the year,” said Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok. He was speaking to reporters after opening the International Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC) 2009 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. He also launched three books on the technology updates in palm oil milling, biomass and biogas plants. Under the current mandate, the government has set a January 2010 deadline to sell B5 biodiesel, a mixture of 5 per cent palm oil and 95 per cent diesel. If the government sticks to B5, it will have to spend about RM250 million that is needed by the industry to blend the mix and distribute it to petrol stations.

Malaysia had planned for the B5 mandate to be rolled out in stages, starting from February this year with government vehicles, followed by the industrial and transport sectors. So far, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Selangor’s Public Works Department and the Army have been using biodiesel in their vehicles. Also present at the press conference was Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) director-general Datuk Mohd Basri Wahid who said, “The national biodiesel policy remains the same. We’re just looking at the implementation with the oil companies, the cost, the logistics. So far, 4,000 government vehicles are using B5.” Dompok said MPOB has achieved considerable success in its oil palm genome sequencing that would help scientists breed trees that are more disease resistant and yield more oil in its fruit bunches. “MPOB is collaborating with South Korean Macrogen and American researcher Orion Genomics. So far, they have generated 400 sequences, representing 90 per cent of the functional genes in oil palm trees,” he added. Source : Business Times by Ooi Tee Ching

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