21/3/06 PUTRAJAYA (The Star) - Biofuel-run vehicles will hit the streets here today, with the Government taking the lead.
Among the first to use palm biofuel instead of petrol or diesel will be vehicles belonging to the Defence Ministry, the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry, the Works Department and City Hall.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will launch the project at Dataran Putra here at 5pm today.
The biofuel initiative is aimed at encouraging motorists to opt for the more environmentally friendly fuel and to promote its commercial usage in future.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui said yesterday that he was happy and excited that the project has finally become a reality.
Research by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board on the use of palm oil, palm biodiesel and palm biofuel began in 1984.
Chin said the B5 biofuel used for vehicles was a blend of 5% palm oil and 95% diesel and was meant for local use by diesel-type vehicles.
However, biofuel for commercial use would only be available after legislation was completed.
Chin said biofuel was an alternative fuel derived from renewable resources such as vegetable oil and its derivatives, ethanol and biomass.
In Malaysia, palm oil, palm biodiesel and biomass from oil palms are potential biofuel.
The board said an initial stumbling block to the growth of palm biofuel and palm biodiesel was the higher cost of vegetable oil compared with petroleum.
However, this might no longer be true as petrol prices worldwide continue to soar.
“With the depletion of petroleum reserves, palm oil fuel will become more economically attractive,” the board said.