KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 20): The implementation of the Biodiesel B20 Programme for the transport sector is expected to provide sustainable support for palm oil demand, hence ensuring price stability for the commodity, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said.
She said the increase in biodiesel blends could accelerate the growth of the country’s biodiesel industry, while palm biodiesel mills could step up their production capacity to meet local market demand.
“Malaysia should also dare to double the use of the environmentally-friendly biodiesel fuel to strengthen the country’s palm oil industry and economy.
“Continuous and sustainable development of the country’s oil palm industry will also help 650,000 smallholders who are in dire need of policies that will help them grow their economy,” she said when unveiling the National Biodiesel B20 Programme for the transport sector here today.
The B20 biodiesel programme, which involves blending 20% palm methyl esters (PME) with 80% petroleum diesel, in the transport sector will be conducted in phases throughout the country.
Wan Azizah said Malaysia’s oil palm plantations covering over six million hectares produce 20 million tonnes of palm oil annually and export to more than 160 countries.
She said the industry has also provided employment to over three million people throughout its supply chain, including more than half a million smallholders nationwide.
“The B20 biodiesel programme would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of Petronas, Shell, Petron, Chevron and BHP,” she said.
Meanwhile, she said based on scientific data from the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), the government is confident that the use of B20 would not cause problems to the engine, instead it would reduce the emission of dust and black smoke into the air.
Wan Azizah said the National Biodiesel Programme met the 7th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2030 agenda, namely ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy to all by providing more environmentally-friendly fuel options.
“The programme also fulfils the 8th SDG’s goal of promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all by reducing the country’s dependence on diesel imports and stimulating the development of the country’s oil palm industry,” she said.
What is more important, she said the programme also met the 13th SDG goal of taking urgent action to combat climate change and its effects by curtailing greenhouse gas production and encouraging renewable energy development.
Source : The Edge Markets