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Jakarta Post

B30 nationwide trial begins ahead of January enforcement

  • Norman Harsono
    Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, November 21, 2019   /   12:26 pm
B30 nationwide trial begins ahead of January enforcement Stock illustration of biofuel (Shutterstock/petrmalinak)

A nationwide trial has commenced on the commercial distribution of 30 percent blended biodiesel (B30) to prepare distributors for the mandatory use of B30, which comes into force next year.

The government said in a statement released on Wednesday that 10 biofuel producers had signed an agreement with state-owned energy holding company Pertamina on Nov. 19 to dispense the fuel at select Pertamina fuel depots (TBBMs) around the country.

The eight designated TBBMs are located in Rewulu (Yogyakarta), Medan (North Sumatra), Balikpapan (East Kalimantan), Plumpang (North Jakarta), Kasim (Papua), Plaju (South Sumatra), Panjang (Lampung) and Boyolali (Central Java).

“We expect to fix all technical [bugs] and this will require cooperation from all stakeholders,” Mohammad Hidayat, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's downstream oil and gas director, said in the statement.

Pertamina is running the trial through December, before the B30 mandatory use policy takes effect in January 2020.

To accommodate the trial, the energy ministry has increased this year's 6.6 million-kiloliter (kL) quota for subsidized fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) – a key biofuel ingredient – by an additional 208,238 kL.

“The absorption of FAME in the [earlier] B20 program went well. We expect the same for the B30 [program], especially with the supply chain, which we will work on to make more effective,” said Pertamina logistics and supply chain director Gandhi Sriwidodo.

The B30 policy plays an important role in the government's efforts to slash oil imports, which contribute heavily to the country's trade deficit. Indonesia's B30 is also expected to open new markets for its palm oil exports, which is facing challenges from traditional markets like the European Union over sustainability and environmental issues.