12 June 2007 05:28 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Palm oil is a sustainable raw material for biodiesel due to a higher oil yield per hectare (ha) compared to its rivals, a senior executive with a major Malaysian palm oil company said on Tuesday.
The higher yield compared to other vegetable oils such as soya and rapeseed could potentially be increased by using improved plantation material and practices, Zazili Jaafer, GM, Biodiesel of Golden Hope, said at the opening of the Biofuels Asia conference.
Palm oil is being increasingly sought as a feedstock for biodiesel as high crude oil prices drive a search for alternative fuel sources. Prices of palm oil, traditionally used as cooking oil, rose 40% last year on demand from the biodiesel sector.
While nearly 3.5m tonnes or 50% of rapeseed produced in Europe is being used to produce biodiesel, only one million tonnes - a fraction of palm oil produced in ?xml:namespace>
The sustainability debate on biofuels was about reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and therefore reduce global warming, and palm oil with its cost and yield was no less sustainable than other vegetable oils, Jaafer said.
However, as palm oil competes with food use in
Palm oil prices hit a decade's high of nearly $800/tonne in May, outpricing itself in the biodiesel industry, said other biodiesel producers at the conference.
Although palm oil prices have seen some downward correction in the last few days, a much more significant correction in prices has to be seen before biodiesel production can be accelerated here, Jaafer said.
Golden Hope runs two biodiesel units in
The company is also building a 200,000 tonne/year biodiesel facility in the
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