Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Big potential for biodiesel

The Star Online Sunday December 16, 2007 Malaysia

Big potential in biodiesel

KUANTAN: Malaysia has the potential to be the biggest biodiesel producer in the world, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said palm oil availability provided a huge advantage for the country against competitors.

“Already we have incorporated a masterplan under the East Coast Economic Region to turn Kuantan, particularly Gebeng, into a hub for a palm oil industrial cluster.

“Certainly, we have the potential and that is our long-term goal,” he told reporters after opening Mission Biotechnologies Sdn Bhd’s first biodiesel plantyesterday.

Najib said the plant would become the biggest in the country in terms of biodiesel production when its second facility goes into operation by next September.

“We expect worldwide demand for biodiesel to increase by leaps and bounds. This will in turn benefit the country and oil palm smallholders as the price of crude palm oil (CPO) would then be stable and at a very satisfactory level,” he said.

Najib said the price of CPO was about RM2,900 per tonne now and most analysts forecast it would not drop below RM2,400 per tonne.

Earlier, in his speech Najib said Malaysia was the world’s largest palm oil producer, with an output of approximately 15 million tonnes per annum.

“We achieve this with a mere 3.8 million hectares of plantations, and plans are in the pipeline to increase output by another 30% by 2010 to cater for export demand.

“The demand for biodiesel will triple to 30 million tonnes by 2010 and it is expected that biodiesel will account for some 20% of world diesel consumption by 2020,” he said.