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President Jokowi launches Indonesia's B30 implementation

After a series of trials show positive results, the President of Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo launched the Mandatory B30 Program on December 23, 2019, at Pertamina's Refueling Station Number 31.128.02 on Jalan MT Haryono, Jakarta. The mandatory B30 will be implemented simultaneously throughout Indonesia on January 1, 2020, making Indonesia the first country in the world to implement B30.

“We try to look for renewable sources of energy. We have to break away from our dependency on fossil energy, which will certainly deplete someday. The development of NRE also proves our commitment to preserving the Earth, to preserve clean energy by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and to preserve the environment quality,” said President Joko Widodo, who on the occasion is escorted by Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Coordinating Minister for Economy Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of EMR Arifin Tasrif, Minister of SOE Erick Thohir, Deputy Minister of SOE Budi Gunadi Sadikin, President Commissioner of Pertamina Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, and President Director of Pertamina, Nicke Widyawati (photo courtesy Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources).

President Joko Widodo said that the successful B20 implementation has encouraged the government to increase the use of biodiesel as fuel blends in an effort to promote the use of New Renewable Energy (NRE) in Indonesia. The President also said that the mandatory B30 program will also slash Indonesia’s dependency on fuel imports.

We know that our dependency on fuel imports, including diesel oil, is quite high. On the other hand, we’re also the world’s largest producer of palm oil. With this huge potential of palm oil, we have a variety of biofuel sources that can replace imports. We must make use of this potential to support the national energy security and self-reliance, the President emphasized.

Multiple feedstock sources

Efforts to cut imports have been carried out by the government and the implementation of B30 is estimated to save as much as Rp63 trillion (≈ US$4.6 billion) in foreign exchange.  In addition, B30 implementation will bring about an increasing domestic demand for crude palm oil (CPO), which will eventually create multiplier effects on around 16.5 million farmers of oil palm in Indonesia.

This means that the B30 program will give good impacts on small and medium-size farmers, smallholder farmers who have produced palm oil as well as workers of palm oil companies, the President stressed.

The biodiesel is in the form of Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) made of vegetable or animal fat through an esterification/transesterification process. Currently, the raw material of the biodiesel used in Indonesia partly comes from CPO.

However, in addition to CPO, other plants have been identified as having the potential for becoming the raw material of biodiesel, such as castor oil plant (Ricinus communis), poison nut (Jatropha curcas), Philippine tung (Reutealis trisperma), candlenut (Aleurites moluccanus) and Tanamu (Calophyllum inophyllum).

Builds on B20 success

The mandatory biodiesel blend was first implemented in 2008 with a biodiesel content of 2.5 percent. Gradually, the biodiesel content was increased to 7.5 percent in 2010. Between 2011 and 2015, the biodiesel percentage was again increased from 10 percent to 15 percent. Since January 1, 2016, B20 was implemented for all relevant sectors.

According to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR), the 20 percent biodiesel program (B20) ran well due to the support of sufficient production capacity, performance/road test, periodic test for quality and quantity by independent teams, and the formation of an Indonesian National Standard (SNI).

In May-November 2019, road tests of B30 were conducted on diesel-powered vehicles having a capacity of under 3.5 tonnes and more than 3.5 tonnes by involving EMR, BPDPKS, BPPT, PT Pertamina (Persero), APROBI, GAIKINDO, and IKABI.

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