The push for a greener transportation sector in the country has encountered many hiccups along the way; some self-inflicted while others can be blamed on the pandemic.
While Euro 5 diesel has finally been implemented as the only grade of diesel for consumers, the push for an increase in biodiesel content to B20 over the current minimum B7 has once again been delayed once again.
While the initial implementation date was June 2021; which is right now, it was then postponed to early 2022 in January this year. However, another delay has now put the timeframe further back to the end of 2022, according to a report by Bloomberg Malaysia that quotes plantation industries and commodities minister Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali.
The reason for the delay was to prioritise the post pandemic recovery as resources were limited and had to be set aside for important sectors.
Currently, B10 biodiesel is the minimum mix for the transportation sector while B7 is the minimum for consumers. The government has implemented a B20 programme in Langkawi and Labuan.
Malaysia is the second-largest producer of palm oil, which is the main component of biodiesel. Biodiesel indicates a blend of regular diesel and biodiesel, the number accompanying the B specifying the percentage of biodiesel.
Hence, B20 biodiesel denotes 20 per cent palm methyl ester and 80 per cent regular diesel. The higher mix will eventually replace the B10 mix sold nationwide except for Cameron and Genting Highlands in Pahang as well as Kundasang in Sabah, which will continue using a B7 mix.
Furthermore, the switch to a higher biodiesel content will increase revenue for the domestic palm oil industry as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 3.8 million tonnes a year.
For now, BHPetrol and Caltex offer B10 biodiesel options while the rest continue to offer the minimum B7 grade. Pricing for B20 biodiesel is also a subtopic of the matter that hasn't been touched on much yet.
You can read our review of B10 biodiesel here, which we sampled a few years back in anticipation of its implementation.