Palm Diesel Set To Change Country's Future Energy Scene
KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 (Bernama) -- Palm diesel which is renewable,sustainable and environment friendly is set to become an alternativesource of power generation in the future, based on the various effortscommissioned by the power sector industry players.
In presenting her paper, "Alternative Energy Resources For The Future" atthe Malaysian Electric Power 2001 Forum here on Tuesday, manager ofTechnology Resource Management of Petronas, Rohani Abdul Rahman, said thata detailed feasability study was currently being carried out by MPOB andPetronas with the aim of commercialising palm diesel.
She said Petronas and Malaysian Palm Oil Bhd who were responsible fordeveloping the technology of converting crude palm oil (CPO) into methylester or palm diesel, have proposed to set up a commercial plant producingpalm diesel as substitute for diesel, oleochemical feedstock.
The proposed project would be undertaken by Biodiesel (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd,a consortium comprising MPOB, Petronas and industry players.
A detailed study on palm diesel by Petronas and MPOB would be an initialmove under the project, to be followed by project implementation, shesaid.
Palm diesel is expected to enter the market by 2006, she said. "Variousoptions are being explored to market palm diesel either as blends withpetroleum diesel, as additives or as 100 percent palm diesel," she added.
The introduction of palm diesel, she said would be timely as Malaysia willbe experiencing a deficit in petroleum diesel supply by 2004 based on theexisting refining capacity.
"Malaysia's crude oil reserves stood at 3.39 billion barrels as at January1 2001, down marginally from 3.43 billion barrels in 2000," she said.
"Natural gas reserves also declined to 82.5 TSCF (trillion standard cubicfeet) for the same period," she said.
She said among the target markets being studied for palm diesel use werethe transportation sector, the largest consumer of diesel at 40 percent,the agricultural sector and the power sector.
Petronas involvement in the Palm Diesel Project, she said began in 1984 incollaboration with the Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (PORIM,currently known as MPOB), University of Malaya and University ofTechnology Malaysia in the research and development (R&D) programmeinvolving laboratory research work, pilot plant study and field trial onpalm diesel.
"Escalation in CPO prices from 1995 to 1998 forced the project to be puton hold and when CPO prices started to fall in 1999, the project wasinitiated," she said. --BERNAMA