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Indonesia Runs Early Tests to Produce Palm Oil Petrol

Jakarta conducted a test flight using jet fuel mixed with palm oil last year and plans to do road tests for biodiesel containing 40% palm fuel next month


Palm oil
A worker carries a palm oil fruit bunch at a plantation in Slim River, near Ipoh in Malaysia. Photo: Reuters.

 

Indonesia has conducted early tests to produce petrol made from palm oil, its energy ministry said on Tuesday, as it seeks to expand use of the vegetable oil in its energy sector.

To absorb more of its palm oil output and slash fuel imports, the world’s biggest producer of the oil in 2020 launched a mandatory B30 biodiesel, which is 30% palm oil, one of the highest palm oil concentrations used in a biofuel globally.

Indonesia aims to increase the palm oil content in the biodiesel and use it to produce other fuels.

It conducted a test flight using jet fuel mixed with palm oil last year and plans to do road tests for biodiesel containing 40% palm fuel next month.

“We must work to become independent in areas that are important for our nation, such as the energy sector. We have various energy sources that have not been fully utilised,” Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif said in a statement.

Biodiesel makes up around 38% of Indonesia‘s domestic palm oil consumption last year, the Indonesia Palm Oil Association estimated.

The gasoline is the result of a collaboration between the Catalysis Engineering Centre at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and the Palm Oil Plantation Fund Management Agency.

Arifin urged ITB, which has been leading the fuel development, to scale up and speed up the testing, so the results can be a parameter in a feasibility study and engineering design for a planned production facility on Sumatra.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean OMeara

 

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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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