JAKARTA, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s state energy company
PT Pertamina said on Friday it had started trials on diesel made
entirely out of palm oil at its Cilacap refinery on Java island
after conducting trials on jet fuel late last year.
Pertamina begun the trials of the so-called “Green Diesel”
on Jan. 9 and they will continue till Jan. 16, a Pertamina
spokesman said in the statement. Trials for the jet fuel took
place at the end of December.
“This trial will continue until it is ready and safe to use
as fuel that can be used by the community,” spokesman Hatim
Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, currently
has a mandatory biodiesel programme with 30% palm oil content
known as B30, but the government is keen to expand the use of
the vegetable oil for energy as it aims to slash fuel imports.
But a slump in fuel prices this year has made the programme
less economical and plans to increase the biocontent to 40% have
been delayed due to funding issues.
While the B30 programme uses fatty acid methyl ester, known
as FAME, the Green Diesel uses refined, bleached and deodorized
palm oil (RBDPO), which is palm oil that has been refined to
remove free fatty acids and purification to remove color and
odour, Hatim said.
“The Green Jet Fuel meanwhile, uses refined, bleached and
deodorized palm kernel oil (RBDPKO) or palm kernel oil,” he
said, noting that the product is not yet able to be used
The biodiesel refinery at Cilacap is expected to produce as
much as 3,000 barrels of biodiesel made out of 100% palm a day.
While biodiesel promises significantly lower carbon
emissions, the land clearance taking place to grow palm oil has
raised concerns among environmentalists about deforestation.
(Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Fathin
Editing by Ed Davies)
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