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 PM Launches

REVOLUTIONARY… Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launches the B5 palm oil-based biofuel called "Envo Diesel" at Dataran Putra. Also present are Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui (right) and Chairman of Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) Tan Sri Basir Ismail. Pix: Shaifuldin

21/3/06 PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Tuesday launched the B5 palm oil-based biofuel called "Envo Diesel", expressing the hope that it would revolutionise the use of fuel in the country.

The use of the biofuel, a mixture of five per cent of processed palm oil and 95 per cent of petroleum diesel, would be implemented in stages starting with selected government vehicles and moving on to public use.

"If we are prudent in using the palm oil resource and have a holistic fuel strategy, God willing, we will be able to tide over the world crude oil price crisis and guarantee a sustainable and competitive energy source for the country," he said.

The logo of Envo Diesel is the letter "V" designed to symbolise oil palm fronds to reflect an environment-friendly product, the advantage of the biofuel.

Abdullah said scientific studies undertaken by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) showed that the use of palm biofuel did not require modifying vehicle engines.

"Furthermore, the engine performance was comparable to one using ordinary diesel and the exhaust contained less smoke and carbon," he said.

Abdullah said the use of palm biofuel had been implemented successfully on a trial basis in MPOB vehicles since the 1980s.

As the next step, the Defence Ministry, the Selangor Public Works Department, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and agencies under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities would use the fuel.

"I am made to understand that MPOB is working with fishermen to enable use of the fuel in their boats," the prime minister said.

He said a guarantee or warranty by vehicle manufacturers on engines using palm biofuel was important in boosting the confidence of consumers.

Praising Tan Chong Industries for having done so, Abdullah said he hoped that vehicle manufacturers and petroleum companies would support the government's initiative by initiating technical collaboration with MPOB in the near future.

He said Petronas Dagangan had agreed in principle to work with MPOB to provide biofuel filling facilities at selected Petronas fuel stations. "This positive approach of Petronas should be emulated by other oil companies operating in the country to enable the government realise its objective of making palm biofuel widely available by 2007," he said.

The idea of the palm biodiesel project was born in 1982 and the working paper on it was submitted to the Cabinet in March 1983. In March 2004, the trial use of Envo Diesel began with vehicles owned by MPOB.

Abdullah also said that the launch of Envo Diesel would be the catalyst for a change in the people's perception of the potential of the country's oil palm and agro-based industry sector.

He said the biodiesel industry in the United States focused on the use of soyabean oil while that in Brazil revolved around the production of ethanol from sugarcane mixed with petrol.

Abdullah said the use of these countries' agricultural products in the production of biofuel contributed to the development of the respective agricultural industries, apart from stabilising the prices of the commodities at a higher level.

"This is the desire and objective of the government for the agricultural sector and palm oil industry in the country," he said, adding that based on the high potential of the biofuel industry many had shown interest in participating in it.

So far, seven biofuel manufacturing licences had been approved and several were under consideration.

Three biodiesel mills using MPOB technology with an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes were under construction, with the first mill expected to go into operation at the end of this year.


Malaysian Palm Oil Board ( MPOB ) Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran, 47301 Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, MALAYSIA.
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