Friday, May 20, 2011

B5 biodiesel in stages, starting with Putrajaya

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will introduce the biodiesel B5 in stages starting with Putrajaya early next month, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said.

"The price will be fixed and we have chosen the petrol stations to initially offer the product in Putrajaya," he told reporters at the Palm International Nutra-Cosmeceutical 2011 (PINC 2011) conference here yesterday.

The implementation of the biodiesel B5 mandate, he said, will not inconvenience motorists as the price mechanism will be determined by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).

B5 is basically a blend of 95 per cent regular petroleum-based diesel and five per cent palm oil-based biodiesel.

The government has put aside RM200 million to set up blending facilities nationwide to blend diesel with palm methyl ester from June 2011 to kick-start sales of the green fuel, after a five-year delay.

Malaysia has been struggling to implement a mandate to push the blended fuel and support the palm oil industry that was first introduced in 2007 as more taxpayers' money is needed to subsidise biofuel blends to match diesel prices at the pumps.

However, the country is committed to pushing the Green Technology (GT) agenda as a key source of sustainable economic growth while safeguarding the environment.

Malaysia has targeted to reduce its carbon emission intensity by up to 40 per cent.

Meanwhile, chairman of Malaysian Palm Oil Council, Datuk Lee Yeow Chor expects Malaysian palm oil prices to remain relatively strong in the coming months at the back of a strong export demand for the commodity.

"For the first 15 days of this month, there has been growth of over 20 per cent in terms of export," he said, adding that the current unusual warm weather patterns would keep prices up for the commodity.

Malaysian crude palm oil futures climbed to a two-week high on Wednesday as traders bet on strong demand in the next few weeks as top vegetable oil buyers India and China restock.

PINC 2011, themed "Bioactives for a Healthy Lifestyle", is organised to highlight and showcase the Malaysian palm bioactive industry and revisit the numerous developments within the nutra-cosmeceutical industry.

There are presentations on the role and benefits of palm tocotrienols, carotenoids and phenolics during the two-day event.

Read more: B5 biodiesel in stages, starting with Putrajaya

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