Thailand promotes use of biofuel to support agriculture

13, Nov. 2019

BANGKOK, VNA - The Energy Ministry of Thailand has set a time frame to transition to gasohol E20 as the primary petrol grade by early next year to boost the value of commodity crops used in biofuel production.

Speaking to the press, Thai Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said the country will use agricultural commodities like palm oil, sugar and cassava to produce biofuel.

Gasohol is a biofuel made from cassava and sugar blended with unleaded petrol in proportions of 10 percent, 20 percent or 85 percent. It was introduced to Thai motorists for commercial sale in 2008, followed by E20 and E85 a few years later.

Thailand has five categories of petrol: gasohol 91 E10, gasohol 95 E10, gasohol E20, gasohol E85 and premium ULG 95 petrol. The government aims to cut down to just three or four types of petrol.

The Energy Business Department is studying how to mandate E20 to be available nationwide, as well as considering how to deal with the impact of gasohol E20 if it becomes the primary petrol.

Sontirat said the ministry plans to discuss the issue with relevant firms and authorities in the oil trade, biofuels and automotive sectors to prepare for the possibility.

In 2020, the primary fuel for diesel will change to B10 derived from crude palm oil, which is 10 percent biofuel and 90 percent diesel, replacing B7, which will be downgraded to an alternative choice.

B10 is estimated to absorb surplus crude palm oil by 2.2 million tonnes per year or 66 percent of total output. B7 absorbs 1.6-1.7 million tonnes per year. - VNA