Japan to expand in biofuels to lessen dependence on fossil fuel

25 October 2012 07:23  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan is expected to aggressively expand its biofuels production capacity over the next decade in a bid to decrease its dependence on fossil fuels, an industry executive said on Thursday.

The country is driving the push towards the use of third-generation biofuels - typically made from algae - as part of its energy mix after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan "forced them to face its energy security issues", said William Byun, managing director of Greenpower Fuels.

Byun was speaking at the sidelines of the Downstream Asia 2012 conference in Singapore which runs on 24-25 October.

The Japanese government earlier last month said it is planning to stop using nuclear power by the 2030s following the Fukushima nuclear disaster last year.

"Its [drive towards biofuels] coming from the Japanese government itself. They could be the Saudi Arabia of biofuels in 20 years," Byun said.

However, the focus on commercialising third-generation biofuels from algae is "still at the laboratory stage and is not ready yet", he added.

Looking ahead, Byun said that there would more than 1,300 biofuel refineries in the world by 2025, with over 65% of these capacities situated in the US and Brazil.

The Downstream Asia 2012 conference is part of the annual Singapore Energy Week.

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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