New Biodiesel Recipe Can Cut Indonesia’s Fuel Imports: Industry Minister
by Gayatri Suroyo and Tabita Diela (Reuters) Indonesia, the world’s biggest palm oil producer, is offering incentives to developers of a new 100 percent palm oil-based “green diesel”, which the net oil importer hopes can replace costly fuel imports within three years, the country’s industry minister said.
Biodiesel for land transportation in Indonesia currently consists of a 20 percent bio component that is mixed with petroleum diesel. That component is expected to be raised to 30 percent in 2020.
In Indonesia, the bio portion of biodiesel is made with fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) from palm oil, but efforts to increase FAME concentrations in biodiesel have faced resistance from regulators as well as the automotive and oil industries.
“Green diesel” made completely from palm oil has “the same specifications as petrol” and is compliant with the Euro IV emissions standard, said (Industry Minister Airlangga) Hartarto, who chairs the country’s second-biggest political party, Golkar.
A biorefinery owned by Elevance Renewable Sciences and Wilmar International is currently producing “green diesel” in a pilot project, and has been given a corporate tax discount to develop full-scale output, Hartarto said.
Modifications to engines and machinery “wouldn’t be needed because its specifications are the same as (B20) biodiesel,” he added. “It’s actually better than conventional fuel.”
According to Lila Harsyah Bakhtiar, an official at the industry ministry, green diesel is made using hydrotreated vegetable oil, a technology that is expensive to develop but which could avoid disruptions to automakers who were “angry” over repeated changes to the FAME-based biodiesel mix. READ MORE