Bangkok Post (05/04/2019) - Biodiesel B10 is expected to be available at petrol stations nationwide from the end of April as energy policymakers hope for a positive response from carmakers, oil distributors and biodiesel manufacturers, says Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan.
B10 is blended with diesel oil and 10% methyl ester (ME) from crude palm oil. B7 (7% ME) is used across the country, in service since 2014 when it replaced B5.
Mr Siri said policymakers want to increase the ME content to absorb a surplus in palm oil this crop year. "Before this plan takes effect, policymakers will discuss with and try to come to an understanding with all stakeholders next week," he said.
Mr Siri said the ministry already talked with the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (Jama), insisting B10 will be compatible with ordinary diesel-based vehicles. Jama is concerned about the purified quality of ME. "Local ME producers will be instructed to improve the glycerine content to satisfy Jama's concerns," said Mr Siri.
Policymakers also plan to make B20 compatible for buses and trucks nationwide, as it is already sold in some petrol stations. The Thailand Oil Palm Board estimates crude palm oil output in the 2019 crop year will rise to 3 million tonnes from 2.5 million tonnes last year and 2 million in 2017. For households, demand for crude palm oil stands at roughly 1 million tonnes for vegetable oil.
B7 production requires 1.4 million tonnes of crude palm oil. There is a crude palm oil surplus of 600,000 tonnes. Once B10 is sold, biodiesel demand will reach 2 million tonnes of crude palm oil. State-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) has rented a depot for crude palm oil in Surat Thani to hasten delivery to Egat's power plants.
Some crude palm oil is shipped to generate electricity at Egat's Bang Pakong power plant. Egat purchases 160,000 tonnes, with 60,000 tonnes delivered to the power plant.
Last year the Thai Biodiesel Producer Association (TBPA) called for policymakers to speed up adoption of B10. Sanin Triyanond, TBPA's chairman, said the higher ME mix in B10 can absorb another 500,000 tonnes of crude palm oil a year.
The price trend for crude palm oil is declining because many countries such as India have imposed tariffs on imports of crude palm oil, while Europe is banning biodiesel.
Mr Sanin said Thailand has 13 crude palm oil producers, also known as B100, with combined capacity of 6.7-7 million litres per day. "The plants utilise 50% of capacity, or 3-3.5 million litres," he said. In 2018, demand for B100 was 3.83 million litres per day. TBPA projects that figure will increase to 4 million litres in 2019.
Read more at https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/news/1656860/biodiesel-b10-target-date-is-end-of-april