Malaysia to build palm oil biodiesel plants to counter high oil price
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
September 26, 2005
According to the AFP, Malaysia announced that it will build three plants to produce biodiesel from palm oil, as part of efforts to reduce its dependency on foreign oil and increase demand for domestically produced palm oil.
“Palm biodiesel is set to become a viable alternative to petroleum diesel,” Commodities Minister Peter Chin Fah Kui told an international palm oil congress in Kuala Lumpur. Palm biodiesel is attractive when oil is above $43 he added. Crude oil is currently trading around $65 a barrel.
Over the past decade, Malaysia has converted large tracts of tropical rainforest to palm oil plantations on the island of Borneo. Recently, several Malaysian firms were implicated in illegal burning in Indonesia that produced a polluting haze that choked residents of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Malaysia’s remaining old growth forests are, biologically, some of the richest on the planet and are home to a number of endangered species including forest elephants, rhinos, orangutans, tigers, monkeys, and tapir. The government has been working to encourage ecotourism but still struggles policing its own forests.
This article used information from AFP