Environmental News Archive

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Biodiesel Cars In Pilot Project

Jan 26 2007 (TODAY)

CARS powered by biodiesel - a biodegradable fuel produced from vegetable
oils - will be seen on Singapore roads as early as the middle of this

The venture, driven by a group of private firms including Shell and
Government agencies such as the Economic Development Board, is the first
of its scale involving 15 test cars here.

Unfortunately, those hoping renewable energy will bring down their fuel
costs will be disappointed.

The blend of Palm Oil Methyl Esters (POME) and ultra-low sulphur diesel
used in the trial here, are about the same price as diesel, said Mr Odd
Joergenrud, vice-president of automotive aftermarket sales (Asia Pacific)
at Robert Bosch (SEA). The company is the lead co- ordinator of the test

"People will use it, not because of the cost, but because they want to
preserve the environment," he said, adding that there is a trend now for
countries to increasingly use renewable energy as a source of fuel.

POME was chosen as it is renewable and easily available in the region,
with two of the largest palm oil producers, Malaysia and Indonesia
situated close by.

The process would involve the testing of emission and fuel consumption of
the 15 diesel cars fitted with special diesel filters. The cars comply
with Euro IV standards - the emission standard implemented for all new
diesel vehicles registered in Singapore from Oct 1 last year.

Expected to take place over the next two years, the project signals the
growing interest in the lucrative biofuels sector.

Singapore has recently taken strides in the biofuel market, convincing a
few big biofuel companies to set up shop here.

Peter Cremer (Singapore), the Asian arm of Germany's Cremer Gruppe, plans
to set up a $20 million plant in Singapore by May 2007 with enough
capacity to produce 200,000 metric tonnes of biodiesel.

Other organisations in the pilot stage include DaimlerChrysler (SEA),
Diesel Tech, Kuok Oils & Grains, the National Environment Agency, Nexsol
(Singapore), and the Volkswagen Group. - Chow Penn Nee