Indonesia, the world's second largest crude palm oil (CPO) producer, is currently developing a fuel from the commodity, Agriculture Minister Bungaran Saragih said Wednesday.
"We are currently conducting tests on CPO converted into bio-diesel oil at the CPO Research Centre in Medan (North Sumatra)," Saragih told journalists after meeting with Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri.
He said the fuel had been tested last week on a tractor and "the results were quite good." The fuel had also been tested in several other tropical countries and was found to be satisfactory, and similar tests were now being initiated in non-tropical countries.
Megawati, he said, had issued instructions to prepare a feasibility study for the new fuel. "Technically, it (the fuel) is okay, environmentally, it is clearly friendly... and economically, it is clearly so. It (the production cost) is much lower than current oil prices," Saragih said.
As Indonesia's hydrocarbon oil resources are expected to be depleted within the next 15 years, the new fuel source could become a renewable substitute, he said.
"We currently have 3.5 million hectares (8.65 million acres) of palm oil plantations producing over seven million tones but...research shows there are another 10 million hectares of land suitable for palm oil plantations," he said. Indonesia is the world's second largest crude palm oil (CPO) producer after Malaysia. –AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)