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B5 fuel in use next year

From the Field to the Pump, NBB 04, Biodiesel #1, National Biodiesel Board Conference and Expo, Palm Springs12/10/2010 (Daily Express), Kota Kinabalu: Diesel-powered vehicles in the country may start using B5, a blend of five per cent palm methyl ester and 95 per cent regular diesel, beginning middle of next year.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, said the implementation would start first in the central region areas of the peninsula namely Klang Valley, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca in June, 2011, and then nationwide.

"Oil companies have been asked to make or set up their respective blending facilities to enable the new fuel to be made available at all kiosks in the central region," said Dompok.

He was asked about the status of the B5 after launching the Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Mini Seminar on Transfer of Technology at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Monday.

The use of B5, a mandate requiring the use of the blended fuel and support the palm oil industry, will take up 500,000 tonnes of the country's total annual crude palm oil production.

It was reported that Indonesia and Thailand have started using B5.

In Malaysia the implementation was supposed to kick-start in 2007 but was postponed because the Government was reluctant to subsidise biofuel blends to match diesel prices at the pump.

Transesterification of crude palm kernel oil and crude coconut oil by different solid catalysts [An article from: Chemical Engineering Journal]Early this year Dompok was reported to have said that the Government would bear the cost of developing six petroleum depots with blending facilities at a cost of RM43.1million.

In turn, oil companies like Petronas, Shell, ExxonMobil and Caltex, would have to subsidise palm-based biofuel blends at the pump.

It was also reported that 56 licences for biofuel production have been approved in the country for a total capacity eof 6.8million tonnes.

Last year, the country produced 227,457 tonnes of palm-based biofuels that garnered export earnings of about RM606 million.

Dompok said there is actually no competition between Malaysia and Indonesia but both are working together in terms of oil palm.

In fact, he said nearly one million hectares of oil palm in Indonesia are operated by companies majority-owned by Malaysians.

"There is no competition. Because the global market for palm oil is huge.

Other countries like in Africa and Latin America also now starting to produce palm oil," he said.

At the end of this month he and the Indonesian Minister of Agriculture will be going to Europe together to promote both country's palm oil industries.

"We will use the opportunity to explain on everything which have been raised by the foreign media on our palm oil industry," he said.


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