Friday, November 22, 2019

Jokowi pushes for biodiesel in cars

Aug 13. 2019
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan, second right, accompanied by Deputy Minister Arcandra Tahar, right, fills a car with 30 per cent biodiesel fuel during the launch of a road test for the palm oil-based biofuel in Jakarta. (Photo: Antara)
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan, second right, accompanied by Deputy Minister Arcandra Tahar, right, fills a car with 30 per cent biodiesel fuel during the launch of a road test for the palm oil-based biofuel in Jakarta. (Photo: Antara)
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By THE JAKARTA POST
ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said he wants to increase the portion of diesel blended with crude palm oil (CPO) from the current 20 per cent to 30 per cent starting in January and to 50 per cent by the end of 2020.

“I want it so that by January 2020, we have already moved to B30. And by the end of 2020, we will jump to B50,” Jokowi said during a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office on Monday. “We need to anticipate any pressure on CPO [by driving up] domestic demand and so that we can have a good bargaining position, whether with the European Union or other parties that try to weaken our position.”

The leap is expected to bring down imports of oil, which drags down Indonesia’s trade balance and by extension, its current account position, while also generating domestic demand for CPO amidst external uncertainties affecting CPO prices, Jokowi added.

In a recent spat with the EU over biodiesel, a CPO derivative product, the 28-member bloc accused the Indonesian government of subsidising its biodiesel producers, such as from the Indonesian Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDP-KS), as well as exporting financing from Indonesia Eximbank.

Speaking after the Cabinet meeting, Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution said the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry was conducting tests over the usage of B30, which was expected to be finished by mid-September. He added that currently, no serious issues were found in the tests.

On average, the adoption of B20 — which is counted from the distribution of Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME), a specific CPO derivative that is used in biodiesel blends — had reached 97.5 percent of its monthly target between January and July this year.

Cumulatively, the distributed FAME stood at 3.49 million kilolitres as of July this year, or 56 per cent of 6.19 million kiloliters of FAME targeted to be used as a biodiesel blend this year, and saved up to US$1.7 billion in foreign exchange due to fewer oil imports, according to data from the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister.

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