The Jakarta Post
The National Economic and Industry Committee (KEIN) has called for the immediate use of 50 percent blended biodiesel, which would help reduce gas and oil imports and increase the use of local palm oil.
KEIN vice chairman Arif Budimanta said the wide use of B50 would help the country save foreign exchange earnings to narrow both the trade and current account deficits and was in line with the General Planning for National Energy (RUEN).
The country, which is the world's largest producer of palm oil, issued a regulation on the mandatory use of B20 fuels that took effect September 2018. Biodiesel fuel is already used in the transportation, industrial and mining sectors.
The increased use of B50 would help absorb more palm oil, the main raw material of the fuel, the export volume of which has declined in recent months, Arif said, adding that it would further increase economic growth.
"We need commitment to make the B50 program a success, not only from the government but also from other stakeholders -- palm oil suppliers, the automotive industry and research institutes,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency.
Oil imports contributed to last year's widening trade deficit of US$8.57 billion, compared to the previous year's $11.84 billion surplus.
According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the country spent $12.4 billion on oil and gas imports last year. (bbn)