InfoQuest (December 24, 2019) -- Thai Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha called for the utilization of B10 diesel to help raise oil palm price and mitigate PM2.5 concentrations. The goal set is to consume 50 million liters of B10 diesel a day by mid-2020.
"Promoting the use of B10 diesel is one of the key policies of the Ministry of Energy. The policy is aimed at balancing the country's entire palm oil system to achieve sustainable development, providing assistance to palm growers and lifting palm oil prices from low levels," said Energy Minister Sonthirat Sonthisajirawong. The policy defines B10 diesel as the standard diesel type in Thailand, B7 diesel as an alternative for European cars and old cars that cannot run on B10 diesel, and B20 diesel as an alternative for large trucks.
To encourage people to switch to B10 diesel, the Ministry of Energy has rolled out price incentives. It priced B10 diesel below that of B7 diesel (1 baht/liter) from May 28, 2019, and to widen the price gap, it pegged the price of B10 diesel below that of B7 diesel (2 baht/liter) from October 1, 2019, which has led to a significant increase in the use of B10.
"B10 diesel utilization is expected to increase to about 50 million liters per day by June 2020, which will lead to the daily consumption of biodiesel (B100) of about 7 million liters," Mr. Sonthirat said.
He also pointed out that the ultimate goal is to increase the use of B10 diesel to 57 million liters per day, B7 diesel to 5 million liters per day and B20 diesel to 5 million liters per day, so as to digest two-thirds of domestic crude palm oil (CPO) production, or about 2.2 million tons a year, and bring the entire oil palm system into balance.
Oil traders have responded actively to the policy of promoting the use of B10 diesel. B10 diesel will be sold at all depots from 1 January 2020 and at all petrol stations from 1 March 2020. So far, B10 diesel has already been available at 450 petrol stations.
About 10.5 million vehicles currently run on diesel, of which 5.3 million can run on B10 diesel, accounting for about 50 percent of the total. The remaining 50 percent are out-of-warranty European cars and old cars.
"If the B10 and B7 diesel price differential policy continues to be implemented, these old car users may switch to more B10 diesel in the future," the energy minister said.
Source: InfoQuest, by Kasamarporn Kittisamphan / Nisarat / Rachada, translated by Xinhua Silk Road
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