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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

25/05/2001

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

NULL

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

Thai palm oil diesel blend set for January sales
Thai palm oil diesel blend set for January salesThe Nation (Thailand) via NewsEdge Corporation, 5/24/2001(Soyatech) :Blend set to go on sale by January 2002, join in success of coconut-oilmix being sold in South Using a formula developed by His Majesty the King,the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) plans to introduce a blend ofpalm oil and diesel fuel early next year.PTT's biodiesel follows the success of a coconut oil and diesel blendproduced by a farmer's cooperative in the Southern provinces.The state-owned petroleum firm expects its blend would enjoy a tax breakthat would make the fuel an affordable alternative that could helpThailand reduce its reliance on imported diesel fuel.Sawaeng Boonyasuwat, head of PTT's research and technology institute, saidthe state firm's move to produce a biodiesel would further strengthen thepublic's confidence in the quality of blended fuels.The biodiesel blend using coconut oil is being used in Southern provinces,but there is no evidence that the mixture causes engine damage, Sawaengsaid.PTT would spend about one month to determine the appropriate ratio for theblend.Studies now focus on using more than 20-per-cent palm oil with the diesel.Under a project assigned by His Majesty the King, PTT developed biodieselwith a mixture of 10 per cent palm oil and found it to be suitable forunmodified diesel engines in agricultural applications. product would beBt0.70 a litre cheaper than pure diesel, which sells for about Bt 14.5 alitre, Sawaeng said."Once the study is finished, we will propose to the government to ask forsupporting measures, including tax privileges. After that, another sixmonths would be required for adjusting the formula and production which islikely to be conducted at the Thai Oil refinery," he said.Thai Oil, majority-owned by PTT, is a refining arm of the national oilfirm.Its facility, located in Chonburi, now blends gasohol, a plant-extractfuel comprised of 90 per cent gasoline and 10 per cent of alcohol.The launch of PTT biodiesel is targeted for January 2002 in accordancewith PTT's schedule to offer gasohol at another 100 service stationsnationwide.Right now, only one PTT gasohol station is in operation at itsheadquarters on Vipavadee Rangsit Road in Bangkok."Gasohol demand is rising with the current sales of 3,000 litres a day,"Sawaeng said.The production volume of biodiesel has not yet finalised, as it wouldlargely depend on price of agricultural produce.Demand for the coconut-diesel blend in Prachuap Khiri Khan province causedfarmers to raise prices for coconut oil, sending biodiesel prices from Bt6a litre to between Bt10 and Bt11.The jump in production costs forced two biodiesel stations to be closeddown last week.