The Malaysian government is looking to enhance the use of biodiesel in the country, and is currently in talks with stakeholders (automotive and petroleum-based companies) on the matter. This is according to the head of the Ministry of Primary Industries, Teresa Kok, in a report by Bernama.

Currently, B7 biodiesel is sold in Malaysia which is comprised of 7% palm biodiesel and 93% petroleum diesel. A push for the B10 blend (10% palm biodiesel and 90% petroleum diesel) has been in development for quite some time, and it was reported last month that the B10 blend mandate will be implemented in the second half of 2019.

However, fuel providers have come out to say that the B10 blend will only applicable to the Euro 2M standard diesel, while Euro 5 diesel will continue to be offered as a B7 blend. Meanwhile, car companies have voiced their concern about the usage of the B10 blend in their vehicles, while other organisations have claimed that there are no such problems.

Kok said there has been no developments as of late because discussions are still ongoing. “We must get the agreement of all parties but I hope Malaysia will move forward towards that direction just as what Indonesia has done,” she said.

The minister is referring to Indonesia’s decision to expand the use of biodiesel, which is a B20 blend there, to include all diesel vehicles in the country. The move is aimed at helping the country reduce its fuel import bill and revive the rupiah. Previously, B20 usage was limited only to subsidised diesel users as well as public service obligation (PSO) vehicles like trains.

“All ministries are ready. All fuel retailers and biodiesel producers are ready to clean their infrastructure, to identify what the problems are and then (carry out) mitigation. For example, cleaning tanks for those with machine filters etc. We have already prepared guidelines on how to blend,” said Rida Mulyana, director general of New Energy, Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, in a Reuters report.

On the same note, Togar Sitanggang, a senior official at the Indonesian Palm Oil Association, said the B20 blend has been tested extensively by the country’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry with only minor differences to mineral diesel fuel – Indonesia has 19 biodiesel producers and 14 fuel retailers.

Back in Malaysia, the lacklustre pricing of crude palm oil (CPO), which is hovering around the RM2,200 per ton mark, has resulted in a massive stockpile of inventory of 2.19 million tonnes as of end-June 2018 – a 43% increase from a year ago.

A mandated switch to B10 or an even higher blend (B20, B25, B30, etc.) will surely help trim the excess amount of palm oil in reserve and help pump up CPO prices. Will you welcome the implementation of B10 biodiesel, or do you see a different path to take? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.