The Indonesian government plans to speed up the implementation of the B30 biodiesel program in the country’s transportation sector. Initially the government wanted to implement the program in 2020. However, the government now targets for 2019. The B30 program means that the mandatory content of fatty methyl ester in biofuel is raised to 30 percent.
In 2014 the Indonesian government introduced the B10 biodiesel program. This was then followed by the B15 program (in April 2015) and B20 program (in early 2016). These programs are part of the government’s goals to reduce carbon emissions and reduce Indonesia’s dependence on fuel imports. Meanwhile, considering the challenging outlook for crude palm oil exports (due to environmental reasons), the biodiesel program would also be helpful to the domestic palm oil sector as it absorbs a significant amount of domestically-produced palm oil.
Rida Mulyana, Director General of Renewable Energy at Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources, said a number of involved ministries have already discussed the implementation of the B30 biodiesel program and agree that the implementation can be sped up. Soon, all sides will start testing (road tests are expected to start in August 2018). This testing phase may require six months.
The B30 biodiesel program is likely to be the highest point of biodiesel blending because anything higher than 30 percent fatty methyl ester content would require technological modifications to machinery. The B20 biodiesel program already resulted in various complaints from consumers as they believe the biodiesel has caused damage to their engines.
Meanwhile, the government also said it wants to expand the B15 biodiesel program to the mining sector. This could boost domestic biodiesel consumption to 3.5 million kiloliters in 2018 (from 2.68 million kiloliters in the preceding year).