KUALA LUMPUR: European Union’s resolutions to ban the use of palm oil in various consumer products including palm biodiesel, could fall at the first hurdle.
Malaysian government is also at the final stage of discussion with truck-makers over the use of 10 per cent blend of palm methyl esters (B10) with regular fuel for their diesel-powered vehicles, from B7.
With these new developments, the government has become more optimistic about its palm oil exports to EU as well as introducing the use of B10 nationwide.
The government is set to introduce B7 for manufacturing industries in Malaysia from B0 initially. However, there is no definite timing as to when it will come into force.
Ambassador and head of the EU delegation to Malaysia Maria Castillo Fernandez has sent out a letter to Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, saying that European Commission, which is involved in the law-making process, had admitted that some allegations that lead to the resolution on palm oil products are based on inaccurate facts.
“The ambassador Maria Castillo has sent me the letter. The European Commission has agreed that some allegations that lead to the resolution are inaccurate. We are going to meet next month to discuss this matter further,” Mah told a press conference here today.
Malaysia’s exports of palm oil and palm products to the EU was valued at RM10.23 billion last year, which accounted for 15 per cent of the total exports.
Mah said the most recent policies including European Parliament’s vote to introduce a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market and also phase out the use of palm biodiesel by 2020, will hurt Malaysia’s exports to the European countries.
“In light of these recent development, we must work harder as a country and collectively with other palm oil producing countries to address the threats,” he said.
On implementation of B10, Malaysia has faced a setback with select truck-makers reluctant to extend the warranty for the use of B10 as they allege safety and quality issue.
Mah has stressed that the B10 is safe and stable, and will not damage engine performance as it has undergone several long term testings under Malaysian Palm Oil Board’s guidance.
“For instance, since January 2014, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur has been testing biodiesel in its vehicle fleet with as many as 50 vehicles using up to 10 per cent of palm methyl ester with diesel, clocking more than three million kilometres without any problems.
“Therefore, I am confident that B10 can be implemented without any technical problems to trucks, trailers and buses,” he said.