Posted: 29 Oct 2014 02:57 AM PDT
The clock is ticking and it is getting late in the evening. I'm grumbling to myself that I'm having to work night shift today.
That means I would be crawling through the jam-packed streets to get back to office by dinner time. Uuugghh!
I was suddenly "woken" from the monotony of listening to speakers after speakers delivering their speeches when a newly met friend gave me a packet a chocolate. Yay!
This is the first time in my career as a journalist covering a palm oil conference when I'm suddenly surprised with a packet of crunchy chocolate wafers.
This newly met friend was rushing to get back to Singapore and he graciously gave me this lovely gift made from palm specialty fats.
It brought a smile to my face. Today's conference coverage is not so boring after all.
Posted: 28 Oct 2014 07:17 PM PDT
KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is expanding its biodiesel business in China with the second shipment of 6,000 tonnes of palm oil methyl ester (PME) to Dongguan Port, Guangdong.
The company successfully made a maiden shipment of 6,000 tonnes of PME to Nansha Port, Guangzhou, last month.
Group president and chief executive officer Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah said the first shipment was a highly significant development for FGV's biodiesel ambitions.
"By successfully penetrating the China market, FGV is on track to achieving its biodiesel global growth targets.
"China is one of the biggest biodiesel markets in the world. Given its huge energy requirements and reliance on biodiesel imports, we can meet this demand by virtue of being Malaysia's largest PME exporter," he said in a statement yesterday.
FGV currently accounts for 31.59 per cent of Malaysia's PME exports, he said, adding biodiesel trade between China and Malaysia is poised to rise, based on the former's rapidly growing interest in renewable energy.
From January to August, China had imported 590,777 tonnes of biodiesel from around the world.
The usage of PME is gaining popularity because the growing of the feedstock is sustainable from its economic, environment and social aspects. Fossil energy balance, which is the ratio between renewable energy output and fossil energy input is a good factor to compare biofuel sources.
Topping the list is PME with a fossil energy balance of 9. This means that a litre of palm oil biofuel contains nine times the amount of energy as that required for its production. Sugar cane has values ranging from 2 to 8. Other feedstocks such as rapeseed, soya and corn have values which fall between 1 and 4.
When it comes to yield productivity, sugar cane and palm oil rank the highest. Sugar cane yields 6,000 litres of biofuel per hectare (l/ha), followed by oil palm and sugar beet (5,000-6,000 l/ha) but palm oil is superior as it has 27 per cent higher energy content (30.53 MJ/l) than ethanol from sugarcane (24MJ/l).
Moderately efficient feedstock's such as corn, cassava and sweet sorghum yield 1,500-4,000 litres of biofuel per hectare( l/ha). Rapeseed, wheat and soya are the least efficient, yielding less than 1,500 l/ha.
Posted: 28 Oct 2014 06:49 PM PDT
KUALA LUMPUR: MALAYSIA, in welcoming the inauguration of the Jokowi administration, looks to Indonesia for continued efforts in poverty alleviation by jointly tackling smear campaigns and barriers to palm oil trade.
Indonesia President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo unveiled his Cabinet line-up recently to govern Southeast Asia's biggest economy and the world's big supplier of coal, rubber, palm oil and mineral ores.
"As main producers of palm oil, contributing to the world's food security, Malaysia is on the same page as Indonesia in developing agriculture in a way that balances the needs of people, planet and profits," said Malaysian Palm Oil Council chief executive officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron on the sidelines of the Palm Oil Trade and Seminar, here, yesterday.
"We were informed that our ministry will be seeking to continue bilateral talks to address the opening of markets that are increasingly hindered by non-tariff trade barriers and protectionism," he added.
A business-matchmaking session between palm oil buyers and suppliers, chalking up more than 100 appointments, was arranged in conjunction to this gathering of some 400 trade delegates.
"Oil palm planting and palm oil exports provide developing nations a path out of poverty. The growing of oil palms, the world's most efficient oil crop, is helping the people of Malaysia and Indonesia to improve their standard of living," said Yusof.
On striking a balance between the needs of people, planet and profits, Yusof said many tend to overlook that oil palms, just like other trees in the forest, contribute to carbon sinking. In times of surplus, excess palm oil also serves as an alternative to depleting fossil fuel.
Oil palm planting allows Indonesia and Malaysia to supply affordable and nutritious cooking oil and margarine to billions of people in developing nations such as China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
According to Oil World trade journal, Malaysia and Indonesia collectively export the bulk of 56 million tonnes of palm oil.
In the last five years, Malaysia earned between US$15 billion and US$20 billion (RM50 billion and RM70 billion) a year from palm oil exports. Indonesia Palm Oil Commission reportedly said the republic earns US$10 billion annually from palm oil shipments.
Malaysia's annual palm oil exports worth US$20 billion support two million jobs along the sprawling palm oil value chain.
Despite its positive attributes, Yusof said the oil palm industry continued to face discrimination. "Environmental activists continue to dictate certification criteria and lobby for the European Union Renewable Energy Directive which discriminates against palm oil. This discrimination is against rules laid down by the World Trade Organisation."
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