Jakarta (ANTARA) - The government is pursuing a biodiesel-type biofuel program in a bid to lower dependence on petroleum while concomitantly bringing Indonesian palm oil to a better and more sustainable level.

"This biodiesel program is not merely a program by the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry to use it as fuel but also on encouraging palm oil (sector) in Indonesia to provide extensive benefits for the national economy and specifically for farmers," the director general of new, renewable energy, and energy conservation at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Dadan Kusdiana noted in a statement received here on Friday.

When the biodiesel implementation program was being designed, the price of crude palm oil (CPO) was at around US$275 per ton, he noted.

This rate continues to increase in line with the increasing demand for palm oil due to the adoption of biodiesel.

"Indonesia still imports diesel fuel, even though the graph is decreasing. This is one of the breakthroughs and proof that research and development results can be implemented and provide such extensive benefits," he explained.

Moreover, the government is pushing for the construction of more factories to process CPO into biodiesel.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry stated that currently, several factories in Sumatra to Sulawesi had been established to process CPO into biodiesel.

"Currently, we are pushing for the construction of a factory in Papua to boost demand and distribution in the Papua region," he stated.

From February 1, 2023, Indonesia began increasing the percentage of blending biodiesel-type biofuels with diesel fuel, from 30 percent (B30) to 35 percent (B35).

Through the program, Indonesia can control diesel imports, he stated. For the B35 program in 2023, the government has set a target for biodiesel distribution to reach 13.5 million kiloliters or 226 thousand barrels per day.

The value of foreign exchange that could be saved reached around US$10.75 billion, equivalent to Rp161 trillion, employment of 1.65 million people, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 34.9 million tons.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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