The Palm Scribe

What Do You Know About B20?

The Government inaugurated the use of 20-percent biodiesel or B20 on August 31, 2018, aiming to reduce the cost of importing diesel fuel. Majority of people, however, fill their diesel-powered vehicles with diesel fuel without knowing its content. They believe that the diesel fuel at Pertamina gas stations is pure fuel.

Biodiesel is an alternative fuel, made by mixing diesel fuel and vegetable oil, such as palm oil. B20 is a blend of 20-percent biodiesel and 80-percent petroleum diesel. It can be used for heavy machinery and vehicles that run on diesel fuel.

This B20 as an alternative fuel has been tested by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) on 2 diesel engines–700cc Ace EX2 System and 1400cc Super Ace System. With the engine speed reaching 3000rpm, B20’s smoke density is low. The use of it can lead to a decrease for the CO2 emissions, currently at 1.06 million tons.

According to Gaikindo Chairman Johannes Nangoi, B20 gives the same result of the engine performance as the current diesel fuel has done so far. All vehicles on the market today have been able for use with it. In addition, B20 fuel has the soap effects that may benefit old diesel engines for B20 cleans out dirty fuel systems.

“When the fuel system is not cleaned, it might be clogged or plugged with sediment from the fuel. B20 will bring a benefit for it has a soaping effect–it cleans a vehicle’s fuel system and release deposits accumulated from the petroleum diesel use,” said Nangoi, in Jakarta.

He suggested that users of old vehicles, especially buses and trucks, clean the tank and clear fuel lines as well as replacing the gasoline filter before using the B20.

The Government has launched a 20-percent biodiesel fuel use program based on Presidential Regulation No. 66/2018 about mandatory biodiesel for the Public Service Obligation (PSO) and non-PSO sectors. The regulation, signed on August 15, 2018, by President Joko Widodo, has revised the President Regulation No. 61/2015 about the collection and use of funds for oil palm plantations.

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution said that the mandatory expansion of 20-percent biodiesel (B20) is aimed at increasing crude palm oil (CPO) demands globally. “We started with B20 and therefore, we can increase the use of B20 while reducing biodiesel imports,” he said at Bogor Palace on Tuesday (31/72018).

The implementation of B20 obligation is expected to save the diesel fuel import by 3.5 to 4.5 million kiloliters per year. Indonesia trade balance in August 2018 experienced a deficit of USS1.02 billion. To overcome the oil and gas deficits, the Government relies on B20. This fuel does not turn the oil and gas trade balance into a surplus but it does reduce the trade balance deficit in the oil and gas sector. By the end of this year, B20 is predicted to contribute to reducing the deficit by USD1 billion.

“B20 participates in contributing to reducing the deficits, even if the balance is still negative. We are targeting a USD1 billion decrease in four months’ time,” Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Director General of New, Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (EBTKE)  Rida Mulyana said.

In order for this policy to work well, supervisions will be carried out by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources through a silent audit mechanism.

“To oversee this mandatory implementation, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources will conduct an audit, which we will call a silent audit. As the name implies, there will be no prior notice when the audit team comes. No one knows exactly whether the team is in specific locations but rest assured, they will inspect everything, including the gas stations,” explained Mulyana in Jakarta on Monday (3/9/2018).

In addition to strict supervision, the government confirmed that since September 1, 2018, there will be no more B0 products (diesel fuel with 0-percent biodiesel content) on the market, and that all diesel-powered vehicles will use B20. If the fuel suppliers do not mix, and the Biofuel providers are not able to supply FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester) to the fuel suppliers, the will receive a fine of Rp6000/liter. B0 products will only be used for Pertadex or Premium Diesel.

Mulyana hopes that the community can help the Government in making this policy a success. If the public discovers irregularities in the implementation of the mandatory use of B20, they can contact the call center 14036. The service is supported by the Indonesian Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDPKS).

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