13.08.2019 (Daily Express) - TAWAU: Sabah will be the first State to use the Biodiesel B20 in Malaysia by June next year if efforts to upgrade some oil depots are accelerated, said Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok.
Seeing the potential of B20 in the State as most motorists in Sabah are using diesel, she said if the alternative were to be implemented, demand for palm oil would increase, thus addressing the low commodity price issue.
According to her, her Ministry is conducting related studies and meetings with relevant parties, including holding dialogues with various government agencies.
She said she would also hold meetings with refining companies in Sabah.
Kok, however, said some oil deposits in the country need to be upgraded to produce B20 and above or their implementation would be just “talks.”
“I want to discuss with refining companies so that, if possible, we can accelerate efforts to upgrade the existing depots in Sabah to enable us to use higher biodiesel blends in the State,” she told reporters after a briefing on MSPO and dialogue with oil palm growers, here, Monday.
Meanwhile, Kok said, unaware about the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) and disappointment over the low price of the commodity are among reasons many oil palm smallholders remain uncertified.
She said in Sabah, only 46 per cent of the 223,000 hectares of the private planted area had obtained MSPO certification as of June 30, 2019.
“I wish to let smallholders know that the cost to obtain the MSPO is borne by the Government until the end of this year. You just need to come forward and apply,” she said.
She also called on the relevant associations to get in touch with 267 smallholders in the State and urge them to come forward and apply for the certification.
Kok also said the Government, through the Attorney-General’s Chambers, was preparing to raise the issue of European countries’ refusal to import Malaysia’s palm oil at the World Trade Organisation.
She said the decision was made during the meeting between Malaysia and Indonesia through the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries.
Kok also said the Government was currently working with the private sector to seek new markets to increase palm oil price.
“For this reason, I will be visiting several African countries, Japan, Europe and Vietnam in the next few months to meet buyers and importers,” she added.