Biofuels Annual 2011

An Expert's View about Renewable Energy in Malaysia

Last updated: 19 Aug 2011

High feedstock prices, trade restrictions from importing countries, and subsidized supplies from other biofuel producers are inhibiting the developing Malaysian bio-fuel industry.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 8/3/2011 GAIN Report Number: MY1006 Malaysia Biofuels Annual 2011 Approved By: Chris Rittgers Prepared By: Raymond Hoh Report Highlights: High feedstock prices, trade restrictions from importing countries, and subsidized supplies from other biofuel producers are inhibiting the developing Malaysian bio-fuel industry. The year 2011 has been pessimistic for Malaysia?s bio-diesel exports and a further reduction is expected in 2012. The Government of Malaysia has started to implement the B5 mandate (a blend of 5 percent palm methyl esters in diesel) in stages within the country, but domestic consumption is not expected to increase sharply in the near term. Post: Kuala Lumpur Executive Summary: With palm oil prices hovering above RM3,520/MT (US$1,170/MT), the Malaysian biodiesel industry is struggling. Although the Government of Malaysia (GOM) has started to implement the B5 mandate (a blend of 5 percent of palm methyl esters in diesel) in stages, domestic consumption is not expected to increase sharply in the near term. On the international front, Malaysia?s biodiesel will not be able to compete without huge Government subsidies. In addition, the United States? Renewable Fuels Standards 2 (RFS2) has effectively eliminated palm oil as a feedstock for biodiesel in the States. Opportunities for US exports of biofuel or a biofuel feedstock to Malaysia are limited as the country already has palm oil as a plentiful raw material. Also, retail petroleum/diesel prices in Malaysia are subsidized, diminishing the economic viability of importing biofuels as an alternative fuel source. Jatropha, a tough bush with oil bearing fruit has excellent small-scale potential but needs more research before it can be cultivated on a larger-scale area. The shrub grows on marginal and arid land and needs little care. Jatropha is non-edible, so using it avoids the food vs fuel controversy. Although funds have been allocated to facilitate research and development of the crop, the GOM has yet to fully endorse the cultivation of jatropha. Exchange Rate: US$1= RM3.013 (Jun 1, 2011) Author Defined: BIO-FUEL POLICY Policies supporting production and use of biofuels With palm oil prices hovering above RM3,520/MT (US$1,170/MT), the Malaysian biodiesel industry is struggling to survive. Without Government subsidies, Malaysian biodiesel will have difficulties competing in overseas markets with biodiesel from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Argentina and Colombia. In the current political atmosphere of reducing public debt brought on by the huge expenses of subsidies, it is considered imprudent to increase subsidies. In fact, it is would be counter-productive to reduce palm oil exports at the current high prices and then subsidize the same amount for domestic usage as biodiesel. Based on a market price of RM3,500/ton for palm oil, the subsidy for a full implementation of the mandatory blend of 5 percent of palm methyl esters in diesel (referred to as B5) could probably amount to more than RM400 million (US$133 million). The GOM has started to implement the B5 mandate in stages. Currently B5 biodiesel is available at only some of the Petronas (National Petroleum Company) stations and a few others in the Federal Territory of Putra Jaya, Malacca and Negri Sembilan. A few more states will be added in the future. They are charging the same price as subsidized petroleum diesel. In Malaysia, the biodiesel industry has to reckon with some of the lowest fuel prices in the region. The GOM sets retail fuel prices below the market price and compensates retailers through subsidies. The GOM cancelled the sales tax on retail petroleum products to alleviate price pressure and the incidence of the sales tax borne by the retail customer. The sales tax on diesel of US$0.05 per liter was dropped in October 1999, while that for gasoline of US$0.16 per liter was eliminated in June 2004. Table 1: Retail Price of Motor Fuels in Malaysia (per liter) Without Subsidies or Subsidized Retail Price Sales Tax Exemptions Gasoline* US$0.63 (RM1.90) US$1.09 (RM3.28) Petroleum Diesel US$0.60 (RM1.80) US$1.02 (RM3.08) *RON95 US$1=RM3.013 (Jun 1, 2011) Plants built in EU before Jan 23, 2008 are exempt from the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission requirements as they are assigned the default value of 35 percent saving through 2013. Palm Oil Methyl Ester (PME) exports may continue to enter the EU as long as they are certified under a sustainability scheme. PME has effectively been banned as a feedstock for biodiesel in the U.S. since the implementation of its ?Renewable Fuels Standards 2 (RFS2)? in July, 2010. There were no PME exports to the U.S. during the first 6 months of 2011. BIO-FUEL MARKET SITUATION Potential consumption of biofuel The following tables represent Post?s estimates of motor vehicle numbers in Malaysia. Registered vehicles from 1996 to 2010 were assumed to represent the current number of motor vehicles in use. Post estimates that diesel vehicles account for about 5 percent of the motor vehicle population in Malaysia. Table 2: #Number of New Motor Vehicles Registered from 1996 to 2010 Buses Motorcycles Cars Taxis Goods Vehicles Others Total Hire & Drive Cars 5,031,481 5,787,163 109,997 474,360 260,881 11,663,882 43.14% 49.62% 0.94% 4.07% 2.24% 100% Source: Malaysia Road Transport Department Update: Jun 1, 2011 The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) forecasts total industry volume of motor vehicles to show a 2 percent growth in 2011 after a surge in sales in 2010. Table 3 forecasts a steady growth till 2015. Table 3: Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) Forecast of Vehicle Sales 2010 2011* 2012* 2013* 2014* 2015* Passenger vehicles 543,594 555,000 560,000 566,500 574,000 581,000 Commercial vehicles 61,562 63,000 64,000 64,500 65,000 66,000 Total industry volume 605,156 618,000 624,000 631,000 639,000 647,000 Growth 12.7% 2.1% 1.0% 1.1% 1.2% 1.3% Source: MAA *forecast Update: Jun 7, 2011 With the lack of clear direction of the biodiesel sector at the current moment, Post does not foresee a growth in diesel vehicles in the near future. The annual road tax that drivers must pay has always been significantly greater for diesel motor vehicles. One reason that diesel engines were originally taxed more heavily is because their engines were considered to release comparatively more harmful emissions into the environment. Table 4 illustrates the difference in road tax between the petrol engine versus the diesel engine. Table 4: Road Tax in Peninsula Malaysia 2011 Engine Capacity (c.c.) Petrol Engine Diesel Engine 1000 and below US$6.64 US$6.64 1001-1200 US$18.25 US$36.51 1201-1400 US$23.23 US$46.47 1401-1600 US$29.87 US$59.74 1601-1800 US$66.51-US$92.93 US$133.02-US$185.86 1801-2000 US$93.10-US$126.12 US$186.23-US$258.88 2001-2500 US$126.62-US$292.07 US$259.61-US$623.96 2501-3000 US$292.90-US$706.94 US$625.95-US$1,619.65 3001-5000 US$708.43-US$3,694.00 US$1,623.23-US$8,788.58 US$1=RM3.013 (Jun 07, 2011) Update: Jun 7, 2011 Biofuel Production Ethanol production Ethanol production is commercially insignificant in Malaysia. There is an opportunity for ethanol production from oil palm biomass but the technology is yet to be commercialized. Ethanol consumption is unlikely as retail gasoline prices are subsidized. Biodiesel production in the biofuel sector For most of the first half of 2011, biodiesel production was at a standstill. Most players are unable to maintain operations due to the high cost of feedstock. Some plants operate sporadically depending on purchase orders and are able to withstand closure because they are supported by their parent companies. With the implementation of the B5 mandate in only a few states in the central region of the Peninsula, domestic consumption is not expected to take off sharply. Post expects the total production to reach about 13,000 MT for the whole of 2011 and 15,000 MT for 2012. With the violent swing of palm oil prices, the GOM has started to look at a promising alternative feedstock, Jatropha. It has excellent small-scale potential but needs more research before it could be cultivated on a larger-scale area. The GOM has allocated funds to facilitate research and development of the crop. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board is tasked to carry out performance tests on jatropha-based biodiesel. The Malaysian Rubber Board is to engage in seed breeding and the National Tobacco Board is to gauge the suitability of cultivating jatropha on bris soil in the northern part of the country. A few private companies are planning to invest in jatropha cultivation, but the impact on the biofuel sector would not be significant in the next two years. Table 5: BIODIESEL PLANT REGISTRATED IN MALAYSIA 1/ 1 AJ Oleo Industries Sdn. Bhd. Segamat, Johor 2 AM Biofuel Sdn. Bhd. Pasir Gudang, Johor 3 Carotino Sdn.Bhd. Pasir Gudang, Johor 4 YPJ Palm International Sdn. Bhd. Pasir Gudang, Johor 5 Malaysia Vegetable Oil Refinery Sdn. Bhd. Pasir Gudang, Johor 6 Nexsol (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. Pasir Gudang, Johor 7 PGEO Bioproducts Sdn. Bhd. Pasir Gudang, Johor 8 Vance Bioenergy Sdn. Bhd. Pasir Gudang, Johor 9 Mission Biofuels Sdn. Bhd. Kuantan, Pahang 10 Mission Biotechnologies Sdn. Bhd. Kuantan, Pahang 11 Plant Biofuels Corporation Sdn. Bhd. Kuantan, Pahang 12 Carotech Berhad (Chemor Plant) Chemor, Perak 13 Carotech Berhad (Lumut Plant) Setiawan, Perak 14 Lereno Sdn. Bhd. Setiawan, Perak 15 Man Jang Bio Sdn. Bhd. Port Klang, Selangor 16 Intrack Technology (M) Sdn. Bhd. Rawang, Selangor 17 Sime Darby Biodiesel Sdn. Bhd.-Carey Island Pulau Carey, Selangor 18 Sime Darby Biodiesel Sdn. Bhd.-Panglima Garang Teluk Panglima Garang, Selangor 19 FIMA Biodiesel Sdn. Bhd. (Titian Asli S/B) Port Klang, Selangor 20 Weschem Technologies Sdn. Bhd. Batang Kali, Selangor 21 KLK Bioenergy Sdn. Bhd. (Zoop Sdn. Bhd.) Shah Alam, Selangor 22 Future Prelude Sdn. Bhd. Port Klang, Selangor 23 Innovans Bio Fuel Sdn. Bhd. Port Klang, Selangor 24 Global Bio-Diesel Sdn. Bhd. Lahad Datu, Sabah 25 Green Edible Oil Sdn. Bhd. (Green Biofuels) Sandakan, Sabah 26 SPC Bio-diesel Sdn. Bhd. Lahad Datu, Sabah 27 Platinum Biofuels Sdn. Bhd. Seremban, Negeri Sembilan 28 Senari Biofuels Sdn. Bhd. (Global Bonanza) Kuching, Sarawak Sources: MPOB: BIODIESEL PLANT IN OPERATION IN MALAYSIA Table 5 shows the biodiesel projects currently registered in Malaysia but a majority is not operating. Import Regime for Biofuels There is currently no import tariff in Malaysia directly levied on biofuels. There is no import tariff on crude palm oil but there is a 5 percent duty levied on processed palm oil. There are no duties on two common biofuel feedstocks: rapeseed oil and sunflower oil. There is however a 5 percent tariff on soybean oil and its fractions. Post has done revisions to the PSD Table as we obtain more accurate data from Governmental source. The BTN Trade code 382490900 (other chemical Products) contains a lot of chemical other than palm oil diesel. BIOFUEL STATISTICS Biodiesel production/consumption/trade (1,000 M Ton) 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Biodiesel Beginning stocks 7 20 15 4 3 Production 1/ 195 222 80 13 15 Imports 0 0 0 0 0 Total supply 202 242 95 17 18 Exports 182 227 90 12 10 Consumption 0 0 1 2 4 Ending stocks 20 15 4 3 4 1/ One ton of Palm Oil has a 94% yield in term of methyl ester output. Exports Trade Matrix 2009 COUNTRY Quantity (Tons) European Union 119,277 U.S.A. 39,594 Singapore 38,821 Indonesia 23,005 Taiwan 5,571 South Korea 530 Kenya 498 India 114 Japan 47 Australia 0 Hong Kong 0 South Africa 0 China 0 TOTAL 227,457 2010 Quantity COUNTRY (Tons) Indonesia 45,072 European Union 40,660 U.S.A. 3,482 South Korea 180 Taiwan 159 India 47 Japan 7 Singapore 2 Australia 0 Hong Kong 0 South Africa 0 China 0 Kenya 0 TOTAL 89,609 Sources: MPOB
Posted: 19 August 2011, last updated 19 August 2011

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