Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched the country’s new B10 biodiesel programme for the transportation sector on 11 December, which will be mandatory from 1 February 2019, reports the automotive website,

The programme raises the amount of palm oil biodiesel blended into diesel fuel from 7% currently to 10%.

Mahathir said that using B10 biodiesel would reduce emissions of CO2 by 1.6M tonnes/year and raise demand for Malaysian palm oil. “The air quality, especially in the urban areas, will also increase through the use of biodiesel with the reduced emission of dust and black smoke into the air. The implementation of the B10 programme is apt at this time in view of the lower price of palm oil biodiesel compared to petroleum diesel.”

The prime minister added that the programme would also help the country achieve its low-carbon mobility objective, mentioned in the 11th Malaysia Plan.

“Malaysia needs to increase the fuel mixture in the future to strengthen domestic demand for palm oil,” Mahathir said, citing Indonesia’s B20 programme running since 2016. Mahathir said he hoped all parties would be ready to adopt B20 in Malaysia by 2020.

The country’s palm biodiesel programme was initiated in 2011 with the B5 programme, before this was increased to B7 from November 2014. Implementation of the B10 programme for the transportation sector began on 1 December.