The Organization of Land Transportation Owners (Organda) is airing support for the government’s program that makes a 20 percent mixture of palm oil-based biofuel in diesel oil (B20) mandatory starting in September but demanded that the government provides guarantees regarding the steady supply and quality of the fuel.
Organda Secretary General Ateng Aryono, in a written statement to The Palm Scribe on Wednesday (29/8) said that his organization “really understands and continuously seeks to comprehend the implementation of the Mandatory B20” policy of the government but also demanded a number of guarantees.
“We demand that the government also provides guarantees so that various supporting aspects for a smooth implementation of the policy also be given attention and full encouragement,” Aryono said.
He cited the guarantees sought as including for “the smoothness of supply and the quality of that type of fuel”.
A number of people in the transportation industry have already aired doubt as to the smoothness of fuel supply, pointing to a number of recent fuel shortages, including in Bengkulu, where fuel, especially diesel oil, was in short supply.
The government has already taken anticipatory moves by setting a Rp.6,000 fine per liter for the lateness in supply or distribution of the B20 fuel mixture.
The chairman of the Indonesian Biofuel Producers Association (APROBI), Master Parulian Tumanggor was quoted by Bisnis.com on Wednesday as saying that biofuel producers would have no problem meeting the demand for the production of the biofuel.
Tumanggor, who could not be immediately contacted for comment, was quoted as saying that the national biofuel output capacity was at 14 million kiloliters and therefore the provision of 2.89 million kiloliters, as had been set for the B20 program for September until the end of the year, was easy to meet.
Several bus and truck operators have also aired worries that an inconsistent fuel quality, including inadequate or excessive mixture levels or water contamination, could result in damage to the engines.
Aryono added that Organda was also seeking the full support and assurances from all brand holders as well as the Association of Indonesian Automotive Industry (GAIKINDO).
He said that an agreement between industry and the government and their active participation in the supply and use of B20 both in terms of technicalities, economy or availability were needed.
“And, if possible, the provision of a subsidy for the public transport industry if systematic migratory steps are needed for the use of B20,” he added.
Aryono also added a reservation regarding the government’s B20 policy saying that the use of the B20 fuel was actually not in line with the Euro4 vehicle emission standard that the government plans to apply starting in October.
“This matter, of course, becomes a serious note for the said policy, considering that up until now, B20 has been declared to be able to support engine of the Euro2 standard at the most,” he said.
The government in mid-August, through Presidential Regulation No. 66/2018, expanded the mandatory B20 to also cover the non-subsidized or non-public service obligation sector, starting as of September 1, 2018.
The policy is hoped to be able to curb the country’s trade deficit by reducing imports of fossil fuels.