Indonesia fell woefully short of its biofuels target in 2009 as producers halted operations because of the surging price of crude palm oil, the main raw material. Total biofuel production was just 104,100 kilolitres in 2009, a 96% fall from the 2.56 million kilolitres produced in the previous year, the Energy Minister said. Biofuel producers spent most of the year sitting on their hands as they waited for the government to work out the price formula used to set the benchmark biofuel price, as well as the all-important subsidy level. "Biofuel production slumped last year because biofuel companies were waiting for assurance on the government subsidy as the palm oil rise meant it was not economically feasible to develop without the subsidy," Evita Legowo, director general of oil and gas at the Energy Ministry, said on Sunday.
Source: The Jakarta Globe, p.B1, 4 January