Indonesia sets record with first flight using palm oil-blended jet fue

Indonesia sets record with first flight using palm oil-blended jet fue

As a big player in palm oil production, Indonesia has set a global record with its first commercial flight using palm oil-blended jet fuel. This br

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As a big player in palm oil production, Indonesia has set a global record with its first commercial flight using palm oil-blended jet fuel.

This breakthrough has widened the usage of biofuels just as it increased the possibility of cutting down on fuel imports.

The Boeing 737-800NG aircraft operated by flag carrier Garuda Indonesia for the first flight, carried more than 100 passengers from the capital Jakarta to Surakarta city.

The CEO Irfan Setiaputra said that the aircraft travelled about 550 kilometres (342 miles) away from Garuda, Indonesia.

He added that the plane was set to return to Jakarta later on Friday.

It was learnt that Garuda conducted several tests including a flight test on the new fuel earlier this month with an engine ground test in August.

The palm-oil blended jet fuel is produced by Indonesian state energy firm PT Pertamina at its Cilacap refinery, using hydroprocessed esters and fatty acid technology and is made of refined bleached deodorized palm kernel oil.

According to Pertamina, the palm-based fuel emits less atmosphere warming greenhouse gases compared with fossil fuels, and palm oil producing countries have called for the edible oil to be included in feedstock for the production of sustainable aviation fuel.

Alfian Nasution, a director at Pertamina, “In 2021, Pertamina successfully produced 2.0 SAF in its Cilacap unit using co-processing technology and was made of refined bleached deodorized palm kernel oil with production capacity 1,350 kilolitres per day.”

The use of biofuels, Harris Yahya, a director at Energy Ministry, said, would lower the greenhouse effect.

As a major emitter of greenhouse gases, the aviation industry is looking for possibility of reducing its carbon emissions by using alternative fuels.

In the opinion of experts, the industry will need 450 billion litres of SAF a year by 2050, if the fuel is to account for around 65per cent of the mitigation needed to achieve net-zero targets.

Some countries however raised concerns over the potential for deforestation in the production of palm oil from plantations. The European Union has imposed import restrictions on the commodity.

In 2021, Indonesia ran a test flight with the same fuel on an aircraft made by state-owned Dirgantara Indonesia, flying from the city of Bandung in West Java to the capital Jakarta.

Indonesia has mandated 3 per cent biofuel blending by 2020 for jet fuel, but implementation has been delayed.