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Indonesia tests first commercial flight on biofuel to cut emissions

ANN/THE JAKARTA POST – Indonesia’s flag carrier will test its first commercial flight using jet fuel mixed with palm oil to reduce carbon emissions.

The Garuda Indonesia plane is set to fly from the capital Jakarta to Solo, President Joko Widodo’s hometown, using the J2.4 sustainable aviation fuel produced by PT Pertamina, the state-owned energy company.

The government expects wider adoption of the biofuel in aviation to grow the market to about IDR1.1 trillion (USD69 million) a year and pave way for exports. Palm-based fuel may also offer a solution to the challenge of cleaning up emissions in the carbon-intensive industry, as countries around the world turn to subsidies and mandates for airlines to use less fossil fuel.

The sustainable fuel that was used on yesterday’s flight was made by mixing 2.4 per cent refined bleach deodorised palm kernel oil with jet fuel in PT Pertamina’s Cilacap refinery.

It was tested on a shorter flight earlier this month when the jet’s machine responded well and stayed in control.

Indonesia, the world’s top palm oil producer, is already mandating a biodiesel programme for land transportation this year to increase the use of palm oil content in diesel to 35 per cent, the highest mix globally.

More use of the tropical oil in transportation would cement the nation’s position as top palm consumer and potentially limit supply to the global market.

Attendees infront of Garuda’s Boeing 737-800 using Bioavtur J2.4 in Banten, Indonesia. PHOTO: THE JAKARTA POST