Malaysia's national biofuels plan hits rocky road

17 October 2007 09:33  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Malaysia’s plan to implement a 5% biodiesel blend for its transportation sector may have hit a snag, a senior government official said on Wednesday.


The government had planned to implement a policy requiring the country’s vehicles to use palm olein-based biodiesel but major automobile manufacturers commented this formula was unsuitable for engines of most commercial vehicles, said Michael Dosimlunjew, Director-General of the Ministry of Plantation Industries & Commodities.


Dosimlunjew was speaking at the two-day 2nd Annual Ethanol & Biofuels Asia 2007 conference here that ends on Thursday.


The government previously announced a National Biofuels Policy to encourage the use of B5 - 5% palm diesel blended with 95% regular diesel. It has not, however, specified a timeframe for the plan.


Interested parties such as the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) wanted the biodiesel to be based on palm methyl ester, which was 40% more expensive than palm olein, Dosimlunjew said.


The Malaysian government had conducted its own research, however, and found biodiesel blended with up to 5% palm olein and regular diesel had “no adverse effect” on engines of commercial vehicles, he said.


“Should the government decide on the 5% methyl ester policy, the implication is [how much] subsidies the government has to pay,” Dosimlunjew said.


“If the government is not willing to pay more for the subsidies, then we will reduce the percentage of the blend,” he added.

By: Jeanne Lim
+65 6780 4359

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