Plans to produce fuel made entirely from palm oil in Indonesia have been pushed back by three years, Reuters reported on 16 June.

The government’s had initially planned to start producing the so-called ‘green diesel’ in 2023, Reuters said, but it was moving the target to 2026, according to a document presented by chief economic minister Airlangga Hartarto at a media briefing.

Indonesia had revised the target after research and investment plans were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, Reuters quoted Musdhalifah Machmud, deputy minister at the country’s Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, as saying.

The country currently uses biodiesel, known as B30, which is produced by mixing palm oil fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) with fossil diesel fuel, but is also building refineries to process palm oil directly to fuel.

Making fuel from palm oil is part of Indonesia’s plan to maximise the use of palm oil domestically to absorb excess supply and reduce expensive fuel imports.

In February 2019, Reuters reported that Indonesian state-owned energy company PT Pertamina had signed an agreement with Italian oil company ENI SpA to develop a green refinery in Indonesia and to process a palm oil-based fuel mixture in Italy.

Pertamina said that it had signed a joint venture agreement to produce fuel completely derived from crude palm oil (CPO) in the Indonesian facility.

Indonesia had set a target to raise the content of FAME in mandatory biodiesel from 30% to 40% in 2021, Reuters reported, but had delayed it by a year due to low crude oil prices.