PUTRAJAYA: The B20 biodiesel programme for the transport sector is expected to be launched in phases next year, giving a fillip to the crude palm oil (CPO) price, which is projected to reach RM3,000 per tonne.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim said the programme would start in Langkawi, followed by Labuan, Sarawak, Sabah and subsequently in the peninsula.
“A preliminary study and engineering design for the upgrading of the blending depot has also been approved with an allocation of RM35mil.
“This will involve 35 depots and are expected to be ready in the first quarter of next year, ” she told reporters after the Primary Industries Ministry’s gathering.
Kok said the launching for the programme would be officiated by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Feb 20.
She said the CPO price, which is now approaching RM2,800 per tonne, was expected to continue rising next year.
This is based on the positive trend, whereby the price was around RM1,700 per tonne in 2018 compared to now, as well as the high demand following the B20 implementation and the government’s efforts to explore new markets to boost exports, she said.
The increase in the CPO price would benefit the country’s economy, she said.
“The Christmas and Chinese New Year (celebrations) would see many countries importing palm oil from us. The implementation of the B20 programme would boost demand. If stock is low, price would go up, ” she said.
Kok also said she would make a visit to Europe early next year to meet the commissioner and new parliament members of the European Union (EU) to present Malaysia’s efforts and success in promoting sustainable oil palm industry.
“We want to present to them what Malaysia has done in the last two years. Europe wants sustainable palm oil and we are doing it. Our oil palm industry players replant forest trees and contributed to forest conservation, ” she said.
Highlighting one of Malaysia’s efforts, Kok said the additional RM1 cess per tonne of palm oil produced would be collected and parked into a fund for green initiatives, which will be utilised for wildlife conservation purposes and green initiatives, especially replanting of forest trees.
She hoped the EU will accept and recognise Malaysia’s green agenda and MSPO. — Bernama
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