Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has announced that B10 grade biodiesel is expected to hit the pumps nationwide by October of this year. This move will replace the current B5 grade biodiesel that has been on sale since 2014.
The mandate, according to MPIC, will effectively increase the domestic consumption of palm oil by 1.2 million tonnes annually. B10 biodiesel is essentially a mixed ratio of 10 percent palm based methyl ester and 90 percent petroleum diesel. This move is also set to stimulate the local economy by producing over 30,000 new jobs in Sarawak.
The idea of biodiesel isn’t a new, as the government has been toying with the idea since June 2011 when six fuel stations in Putrajaya began selling them. BMW also announced that their diesel cars can only run on B7 biodiesel; any higher in fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) content will be deemed unsuitable for use, citing component corrosion due to higher water content in the blended fuel.
More on that front – Sime Darby in 2010, led by President and Group Chief Executive Dato’ Sri Ahmad Zubir Murshid swapped over his gasoline powered F02 BMW 7 Series for an oil-burning variant which was ran on B5 biodiesel.
Typically speaking though, most diesel vehicles are rated at B7 (a fuel variant that’s available in East Malaysia) and aren’t sure how this move will be received by car manufacturers. As of now, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Isuzu have all revealed that the B10 biodiesel is not compatible with their cars. More on this to come.