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Jakarta Post

Biodiesel use expansion has long way to go despite abundance of CPO

  • Stefanno Reinard Sulaiman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 20, 2018   /   03:42 pm
Biodiesel use expansion has long way to go despite abundance of CPO Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution speaks to reporters. (JP/Anton Hermansyah)

The government still has a long way to go in its plan to expand the use of crude palm oil (CPO) as a transportation and industrial feedstock. So far, research into the use of B20 biodiesel, or fuel with a 20 percent biodiesel content, has produced few results.

Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of CPO, and the government is keen to make use of the abundant commodity for industrial purposes and transportation.

Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution told a press briefing on Friday morning that he had explained to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday night that there was no significant progress on a study on the use of biodiesel.

Darmin declined to reveal the reasons behind the lack of progress on the study, which was expected to be completed two years ago. “I can’t reveal the reasons [for the lack of progress] to you now. That would be unethical,” said Darmin after a meeting with three other ministers on Thursday.

According to the Energy and Mineral Resource Ministry’s roadmap, the nation was supposed to start using B20 fuel for transportation and industrial purposes in 2016.

Earlier this week, the ministry’s renewable energy and energy conservation director general, Rida Mulyana, said the government would bring forward the start of using B30 fuels – which contain 30 percent biodiesel – to 2019 from the initial plan of 2020.

However, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said the government was focusing on completing the research on B20 rather than moving forward with B30.

“We prefer to focus on the conservative target of B20,” Budi said, adding that B7 biodiesel was already in use to fuel locomotives. (bbn)