The Ministry of Primary Industries is exploring the possibility of building biojet fuel refineries in the country.
Its Minister, Teresa Kok said the idea of having the refineries is to balance internal demand for the fuels so as to increase the consumption of locally produced biofuels.
“At least, if the aviation industry were to use biofuels for their aircraft, we know there is demand for them in the country.
“Hence, we don’t have to rely too much from exports of our palm oil, especially to some European Union (EU) countries,” she said at the launch of the Palm Oil Student Ambassador Programme at SEGi University here, today.
As huge investments in research and development were needed to explore the viability of the industry, Kok hopes universities, experts, and researchers will continue to work together, as well as collaborate with Government agencies such as the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).
Malaysia expects the aviation industry to adopt two-10 percent usage of biofuels by 2021, she added.
On the EU anti-palm oil campaign, she asked tertiary students to convey the right information on palm oil and correct the misleading perception.
This could be done through creative projects such as arts and cooking classes or competitions, as well as by visiting oil palm plantations to gain better understanding of the industry, she said, adding that the students should arm themselves with knowledge on how to respond to negative perception of the commodity.
Kok said while the EU has a US$600 million fund to demonise the palm oil industry and products, Malaysia through the MPOC has a budget of only US$2 million to fight back.
“That is why we need as much support and collaboration as possible to continue promoting our sustainable palm oil to the world, be it at the malls, airports, through in-flight services and so on,” she said.