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According to Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, the government is poised to fully implement the B10 biodiesel programme nationwide this year.

In the report by Bernama, the minister said the move is in line with Malaysia’s commitment as a member of the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries with Indonesia to increase the usage of palm oil in biodiesel despite the low crude oil prices.

“Indonesia is currently implementing B15 and is moving towards B20. We have informed them that we will move to B10 as soon as we feel it is practicable,” Uggah said. He added that the ministry is currently in talks with all stakeholders to ensure that the policy is well received when it is implemented.

Last year, Uggah stated that the B10 biodiesel policy was supposed to be implemented nationwide by October 2015, following a pilot programme that began in February 2013. However, that plan appears to have been delayed with this announcement.

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Malaysia’s delayed implementation of the biodiesel programme as compared to Indonesia is due to the dissimilar structural system in both countries. Uggah added that cost differences and the availability of crude palm oil (CPO) stock also had a part to play in the delay.

Uggah also expressed his confidence that Malaysia has efficiency facilities to make the new blend of biodiesel, which is 10% palm-based biodiesel and 90% petroleum diesel, once the policy is in place. “As far as facilities are concerned, Malaysia has set up an efficient system which can blend the new biodiesel within two days,” he said.

However, several automaker brands aren’t as confident with the implementation of B10 biodiesel in the country. Brands like Toyota, Isuzu and Volkswagen were not in support of running their diesel engines on B10 biodiesel. Certain brands even stated that the use of B10 biodiesel would void the vehicle’s warranty.

Testing done by BMW found that fatty-acid methyl ester (FAME), which boils at high temperatures, will move into the motor oil, causing it to thin and possibly leading to oil sludge, which could result in engine damage. However, Mercedes-Benz Malaysia claims its E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid is fully compatible with the new diesel blend.