JAKARTA, May 2 (Reuters) – The Indonesia Biodiesel Producers Association (APROBI) estimates the country may export up to 2 million kilolitres (kl) of unblended biodiesel in 2019 in an “optimistic scenario”, Vice Chairman Paulus Tjakrawan told reporters on Thursday.
In a “pessimistic scenario”, he said biodiesel exports this year would be around 1 million to 1.2 million kl. This compares with exports of 1.78 million kl of biodiesel last year.
The “pessimistic scenario” takes into consideration the European Union (EU) setting countervailing duties on Indonesian biodiesel this year, Tjakrawan said, after it launched an anti-subsidy investigation on the Indonesian biofuel in late 2018.
Indonesia resumed exports of biodiesel to Europe early last year, after the World Trade Organization (WTO) had ruled in its favour on several challenges Jakarta made on previous anti-dumping duties imposed by the EU on its biodiesel shipments.
In the first quarter this year, Indonesia’s overall biodiesel exports were 173,542 kl, association data showed, up 78 percent from the same period last year. The shipments were mostly headed to the EU and China.
In Indonesia’s domestic market, first-quarter consumption of biodiesel more than doubled to 1.5 million kl from 659,813.51 kl a year earlier, APROBI data showed on Thursday.
Consumption of the palm oil-based fuel jumped after Indonesian government made the use of B20 fuel mandatory. That’s diesel with a 20 percent biodiesel component.
Indonesia estimates 6.2 million kl of domestic biodiesel consumption in 2019.
APROBI Chairman M.P. Tumanggor said the government aims to soon conduct a road test for B30 biodiesel, containing a 30 percent bio component.
“According to schedule, (the test) will go on until September, but we want to speed it up to (finish) in July,” Tumanggor said.
APROBI estimated that B30 implementation would increase domestic consumption of biodiesel to as much as 10 million kl.
According to government regulations, road vehicles will have to start using B30 fuel from 2020, although an energy ministry official has said the implementation schedule will depend on the results of the road test.