SHAH ALAM– The government, through the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), is in the midst of discussions with automotive companies to extend the warranty coverage to B10 biodiesel for commercial vehicles from B7 currently.

Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Mah Siew Keong said the government is also discussing extending the biodiesel oil quality in machinery and industry vehicles to B7 from B0 at the moment.

“We introduced the B7 biodiesel for commercial vehicles in December 2014. We are actually contemplating the increase (to B10 from B7) and have engaged industries, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and car manufacturers and distributors, as well as petrol station owners over the last few months.

“We have taken into account the concerns over the implementation (of B10) with vehicle warranty only up to B7 biodiesel,” he told reporters after delivering the keynote address at the first Palm Biodiesel Conference here, today.

He said the MPOB and a lot of local industries had done tests for the B10’s compatibility for commercial vehicles and the results were very positive with no negative impact on engine performance.

“A lot of people are worried that the palm biodiesel, when it come to the higher road gradients, such as in Cameron Highlands, would create problem for vehicles.But, we have done a lot of tests to show this is not the case,” he added.

Mah said discussions are being conducted thoroughly to ensure there are no problems regarding costs or infrastructure with the B10 being implemented.

“The MPOB is not only doing a test for the B10, but also currently testing the capabilities of B15 and B20 biodiesel. That would be a long-term plan. It will be good for the palm oil industry as well as for the environment,” he added.

Mah said vehicle manufacturers did not offer any warranty for B10 biodiesel as the current warranty from European tests only extended support up to B7 biodiesel.

“European are using rapeseed oil as the blend for biodiesel in Europe and it’s being done under cold climate conditions. This results in the biodiesel only coming up to B7 as rapeseed oil is highly unstable.

“In a tropical climate like Malaysia, the cold and stability of the oil is not an issue as palm oil is very stable. We can go up to B20 and even higher,” he added.

Themed, ‘Coming Together and Moving Forward’, the one and a half day conference is organised by the Malaysian Biodiesel Association to provide a platform for palm biodiesel players around the world to share experiences, discuss challenges and explore common approaches to further strengthen implementation programmes and the biodiesel industry.