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 The future's driving force

HAVE YOUR FILL: Abdullah ready to refuel a vehicle after launching the Envo Diesel, while Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui looks on, in Putrajaya on Tuesday.

22/3/06 PUTRAJAYA (The Star)  -   Biofuel will be Malaysia’s fuel of the future, with the Government giving it a promising start by filling up several of its vehicles with it yesterday.

“It is our objective to make biofuel our alternative fuel to reduce our dependency on petrol,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told reporters after launching the Envo Diesel here. 

“We hope by next year, we can encourage its use commercially.

“We have run tests and the results are encouraging. 

“There should not be any problem in expanding the use of biofuel to commercial and privately-owned vehicles.” 

The new diesel, or B5 fuel, is a mixture of 5% palm oil and 95% diesel.

It would initially be used on 25 vehicles owned by the Defence Ministry, the Selangor Public Works Department and Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

Abdullah said biofuel would also be a catalyst for the growth of the country’s agro-based industry, particularly the oil palm sector.

He said the locally produced biofuel was of high quality and the price was reasonable.

He said Malaysia currently produced 500,000 tonnes of biofuel annually, adding that the price of Envo Diesel was the same as regular diesel, at RM1.98 per litre.

He said there was no decision currently for biofuel to be sold at subsidised rates. 

“We will decide on this later,” he added.

To a question, the Prime Minister said there was no tie-up with Proton for the use of biofuel on its cars, but added that this could be possible in future if the national carmaker developed diesel engines. 

In his speech, Abdullah called for close collaboration between the private sector and government agencies to tap into the vast potential of biofuel and make it a success. 

He said the Government had announced last year that a National Biofuel Policy would be formulated to encourage the use of renewable energy resources among Malaysians.

The policy, he said, was because of the ever-increasing global fuel price. 

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