Indonesia performs a test flight using a mixture of jet fuel and palm oil

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On Wednesday (October 6), Indonesia completed its first test flight using jet fuel derived largely from palm oil. According to a senior minister, the government prepares to commercialize the fuel to find new ways to use the edible oil domestically.
The jet traveled over 100 kilometers from Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, to Bandung, Indonesia’s second-largest city.
“As the world’s largest producer, Indonesia must innovate in the use of palm oil, especially in the creation of biodiesel, biojet fuel, and the D100 programme,” Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said at a virtual conference, referring to Pertamina’s palm oil-based diesel. Indonesia presently has a mandated biodiesel scheme called B30 that contains 30% palm oil.
The administration wants to increase the use of vegetable oil for energy while reducing petroleum imports.
The bio-jet fuel used during the test flight included just 2.4 percent palm oil, but Indonesia has ordered this increase by 5% by 2025 under a 2015 rule. Even though biodiesel reduces carbon emissions considerably, environmentalists are concerned about deforestation due to land clearance for palm oil production, and the European Union is considering banning biodiesel-containing palm.
According to the Energy Ministry, the bio-jet fuel industry has a potential market value of 1.1 trillion rupiahs (S$104.96 million) per year, assuming a daily use of 14,000 kilolitres.
“We require 120,000 kilolitres (of palm oil) each year,” said Mr. Dadan Kusdiana, director-general of renewables at the Energy Ministry, adding that additional study into the fuel’s commercialization was required.

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