B20 biodiesel available throughout Malaysia by next June

Petrol stations in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia are expected to retail the green fuel beginning Jan 1 and June 15 respectively


THE national B20 biodiesel programme for the transportation sector — which was initially postponed at the beginning of the Movement Control Order in March — has recommenced to expedite the uptake of the local consumption of biodiesel.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali (picture) said the programme is expected to see petrol stations in Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia retailing the green fuel beginning Jan 1 and June 15, 2021, respectively.

He said the B20 biodiesel is already available in Sarawak starting Sept 1.

“I have made the readjustment for the B20 biodiesel programme’s rollout for the transportation sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The programme is a proactive measure by the government to encourage the usage of palm oil in the country as the domestic consumption of biodiesel is expected to increase by 534,000 tonnes annually,” he said in his speech at the ministry’s monthly assembly in Putrajaya yesterday.

Mohd Khairuddin added that the B20 biodiesel programme will require about 1.06 million tonnes of palm oil to serve the local consumption.

At the same time, it is also expected to reduce some 3.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the greenhouse gas emission.

Malaysia expanded the green fuel programme from B10 to B20 earlier this year as part of an aim to increase the production of biodiesel to provide security for the palm oil sector, as well as reduce fuel cost subsidy.

The 20% palm-oil blend fuel, which was launched in February this year, has been retailed in stages in Langkawi, Kedah and Labuan since January.

For the other states, the programme was supposed to be introduced in Sarawak last April and Sabah in August this year, while Peninsular Malaysia was expected to receive the green fuel in June 2021.

Recently, The Malaysian Reserve reported that hauliers have been shying away to set aside some cash for the modification of their vehicles to accommodate higher-palm oil-blend fuel.

The relatively lower diesel price at the moment has also pushed hauliers to delay the modifications on the trucks, particularly on the installation of the filtration kit which is crucial for trucks’ longevity.

According to the Association of Malaysian Hauliers, truck owners have to fork out a minimum of RM3,000 for the engine modifications to accommodate the B20 biodiesel as the current fleets used in the country are only able to run on the maximum biodiesel formulation of B10.

The higher-blend of palm oil in B20 also posts a maintenance concern as it is expected to shorten the intervals of the fleet’s servicing schedules, which will add to the maintenance cost.

B20 biodiesel is a blend of 20% palm methyl ester and 80% diesel petroleum.