10 April 2019
Energy policymakers announced yesterday that biodiesel B20 will be compatible with nearly all general trucks on the road in Thailand.
Nantika Thangsuphanich, director-general of the Energy Business Department, said the majority of trucks on the road will be compatible with B20.
Owners of Isuzu trucks should contact the Isuzu consultation centre to check and change lube oil and car filters when switching to B20.
A guarantee letter from truck assemblers was sent to the department on Tuesday, paving the way for B20 to become available at 156 fuelling stations nationwide.
Toyota announced that it’s ready to comply with B20 fuel and that the company supports the government’s initiative to tackle air pollution.
The Hilux and Fortuner models are compatible with the biofuel, Toyota said, and the price of the Hilux Revo will decline as a result of adopting the cheaper fuel.
The department will further talk with ME makers to cap wax and monoglyceride content at 0.4% to avoid exceeding 200 parts per million, in line with the concerns of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
B20 is expected to be popular with truckers because it costs five baht less per litre than B7. B20 is a blend of 80% diesel and 20% ME content from crude palm oil. The current formulation is 7% crude palm oil (CPO) for biodiesel B7.
The next step for policymakers is to mandate B10 instead of B7.
The move aims to absorb the huge surplus of CPO, which currently is used in amounts of 1 million tonnes a year for cooking oil and 1.4 million tonnes a year in B7 fuel.
The Thailand Oil Palm Board estimates that this year’s crop will rise to 3 million tonnes from last year’s 2.5 million and 2017’s 2 million.
Ms Nantika said B20 is expected to absorb 2 million tonnes of CPO, effectively reducing the surplus to zero.
Before B20 is made mandatory, policymakers will discuss the plan with diesel engine makers, car assemblers, ME makers and oil traders to decide on the date to implement the rule.
Meanwhile, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand has teamed up with the CPO depot of the local oil stockyard in Surat Thani to make faster deliveries of CPO to Egat.
CPO was designed to be the fuel for gas-fired power plants in Egat’s Bang Pakong power plant, but delivery may take 2-3 months; therefore the oil stock will be used in palm oil crushers.
Egat purchased 160,000 tonnes of CPO from the power plant, but only 60,000 tonnes has been delivered so far.
Last year, the Thai Biodiesel Producer Association called on energy policymakers to accelerate the transition to B10.