MANDATORY SALES OF BIOFUEL TO START IN JUNE NEXT YEAR

BANTING, March 24 (Bernama) — Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the government has agreed to implement in stages, the mandatory sales of biofuel from June next year.

The programme involving a blend of five per cent palm oil-based methyl ester and 95 per cent petroleum diesel, would be implemented in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur,Putrajaya, Southern Perak, Western Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Northern Johor.

The government made the decision on the implementation of the biofuel programme, tagged, the “B5 Programme” on Feb 17 this year.

Dompok said oil companies had requested the government to implement the mandatory sales of biofuel beginning June next year, as they needed time to plan their capital expenditure to sell this type of fuel.

He said this during the launch of the Sime Darby Group biodiesel fuel, Bio-N (pronounced Beyond), at the company’s biodiesel plant in Pulau Carey here today.

In order to facilitate the implementation of the programme, Dompok said the government would finance the construction of a biodiesel blending facility, at six petroleum depots in the Central Region at a cost of RM43.1 million.

When asked about the pump price of the biofuel when the programme is implemented, Dompok said it might fluctuate according to the prevailing price of petroleum and crude palm oil.

He said next year, the consumption of biofuel in Malaysia is expected to reach 500,000 tonnes, and there was no need to add or give new licences for biodiesel production in the country.

“I do not think we need any more biofuel licences at the moment. We have issued much more than what the country requires,” he explained.

The government has approved to date 56 licences for biofuel production under the Malaysian Biofuel Industry Act 2007 and these account for a total production capacity of 6.8 million tonnes.

Last year, Malaysia produced 227,457 tonnes of biodiesel with export earnings of RM605.8 million from the European Union, the United States, Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan.– BERNAMA MK AS