Msia woos Japan to use palm biodiesel in buses

I read Palm Oil Insider's comment before attending a press conference in Tokyo. I think the minister must be telephatic. In his welcoming greetings to the Japanese media, he spoke on the benefits of Japan's public buses using cleaner and renewable fuel like palm biodiesel, instead of regular fossil fuel.

TOKYO: Japan should consider using more palm biodiesel for its transportation sector because it is a clean and competitively-priced option compared to other variants, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said.

The Tokyo Metropolitan government is already undertaking trial usage of palm biodiesel in its fleet of public buses, he said. "We're all familiar with the food versus fuel debate and there have been calls for a total ban on usage of vegetable oils for biofuels to ensure food security.

"I can assure you that the Malaysian government prioritises palm oil for food sector," Dompok told reporters after officiating at the Malaysia-Japan Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar here yesterday.

Asked if there was enough world supply of palm oil, he said that Malaysia and Indonesia each limits six million tonnes of palm oil a year for biofuel production. "Food will always be more important than fuel and there is enough oil for both usage," he said.

Dompok said palm biodiesel is greener than other sources of biofuel because its life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emission savings exceeds the 35 per cent threshold set by the European Union's renewable energy directive.

He also assured Japanese consumers that oil palm is cultivated on legal agricultural land in Malaysia and adopts good practices such as "zero burning", integrated pest management and the trapping and recycling of polluting methane gas.

"Since November 2008, Malaysia has started exporting RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil)-certified palm oil. There are now five supplying companies and, by the end of next month, another 300,000ha of oil palm plantations will be certified," Dompok said.

"The Malaysian government has allocated RM50 million to help smallholders get their oil certified according to RSPO principles and criteria. It is important that smallholders are included because, collectively, more than 300,000 smallholders contribute to 40 per cent of our country's palm oil output."

The RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders in the global palm oil industry.

Currently, Japan buys about 500,000 tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia annually, the bulk of which is used as food ingredients. Its main uses are in making margarine and shortening and for deep-frying instant noodles, tempura and snack foods.

Also present at the press conference were Malaysia's Ambassador to Japan Dato' Mohd Radzi Abdul Rahman, Malaysian Palm Oil Council chairman Datuk Lee Yeow Chor and chief executive Tan Sri Yusof Basiron and Malaysian Palm Oil Board director-general Datuk Dr Basri Wahid.

2 Responses to Msia woos Japan to use palm biodiesel in buses

  1. Palm oil insider 21 May 2009 at 11:23

    Telephatic or not is anybody's guess but as YB Minister, one has to be sharp and knows the subject matter of national importance well. I heard that our new YB Minister is "very sharp"
    which hopefully will lead the industry to greater
    heights. Major part of the success story will depend on how well he can lead the already capable team and get rid of those who are just wasting time in the industry.
    Tell the Japanese be bold and brave to use our very dependable biodiesel, as palm biodiesel from non-food component and by-product of palm oil processing is coming thier way!

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