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Jakarta Post

CPO biofuel import ban to backfire on EU economy, environment: Industry stakeholders

  • Stefani Ribka

    The Jakarta Post

Surabaya   /   Tue, April 18, 2017   /   04:24 pm
CPO biofuel import ban to backfire on EU economy, environment: Industry stakeholders A worker checks freshly harvested oil palm fruit on a truck at a plantation owned by PT Wanasawit Subur Lestari in Pangkalan Bun, East Kalimantan. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

Recent calls by the European Parliament to stop importing biodiesel made from crude palm oil (CPO) will negatively affect the EU’s own economy and environment, Indonesian palm oil stakeholders have said.

“The Industry Ministry sees the EU calls to halt CPO-based biofuel [imports] in 2020 as detrimental to its own economy, as CPO is the cheapest mix for biofuel,” Panggah Susanto, the ministry’s director general for agroindustry, said at a media workshop on Monday.

A similar statement was made by Sahat Sinaga, executive director of the Indonesian Vegetable Oil Refiners Association (GIMNI), who said by not using palm oil in the mix, the EU might use more of its locally made rapeseed and sunflower oils.

It will become an environmental problem for the EU, because rapeseed and sunflower need more land to produce the same volume [of oil], Sahat added.

“One ton of rapeseed can only produce 1.2 tons of various bio-products [including biofuel], while one ton of oil palm can be turned into 12 tons of biomass,” said Sahat.

On Apr. 4, the EU Parliament issued a resolution to halt the import of CPO-based biofuel and to import only sustainably produced CPO and called on the world to apply a single sustainability standard for palm oil production after 2020.

Indonesia is the world’s biggest palm oil producer with output of more than 30 million tons of a year, more than 80 percent of which was exported last year. (bbn)