The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) has announced the switch to B10 (blending of 10% palm methyl ester with 90% petroleum diesel) biodiesel, and that effective from June, all diesel sold at retail pumps nationwide will be a B10 blend.

The ministry said the government had engaged representative bodies such as the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), along with petroleum companies and biodiesel producers ahead of the implementation. However, it did not state to what extent each of the associations approve of the programme.

The overall automaker sentiment is far from unequivocal. Mercedes-Benz Malaysia once aired doubt over the suitability of B10 biodiesel for its vehicles but shortly thereafter reverted to say that it will work just fine, while BMW, Toyota, Isuzu and Volkswagen have taken an opposing stance on the implementation of B10.

Since December 2014, the biodiesel blend in the country has been 7% palm ethyl ester with 93% petroleum diesel, or B7, as it is more commonly known. The B10 biodiesel used will be supplied by the Malaysian Biodiesel Association (MBA), which consists of 22 members nationwide.

According to the MPIC, the implementation of B10 programme for the transport sector and the B7 programme for the industrial sector is expected to contribute to annual consumption of 709,000 tonnes of crude palm oil domestically.