The luxury of enjoying petroleum fuels that Indonesia has previously had is now a distant memory. Since 2004, Indonesia has changed from a petroleum exporting country to a net oil importer. Every year there is an increase in oil imports to meet domestic energy needs.
Petroleum which is classified as non renewable energy will inevitably run out of reserves deep beneath the earth, whereas the future energy needs continue to increase, along with the more intensive development and human life on Earth.
Therefore, we need to prepare for a time when the global community is fighting over energy. Indonesia is lucky. Petroleum or oil “below” the ground (as it is taken from underground reservoirs) will run out. However, the oil “above” the ground (taken from palm fruit on the ground) which is palm oil, ready to be utilized.
We have succeeded in utiizing palm biodiesel (FAME) from the palm oil we have produced to replace fossil diesel fuel. The diesel fuel Indonesia has been consuming since September 1, 2018 contains 20 percent (B20) of palm biodiesel, which means reducing the use of fossils diesel that we import. Next year, we hope to better this one to B30, which is 30 percent of the diesel fuel we consume contains 30 percent of biodiesel. With the targeted B30 next year, we will be able to reduce fossil diesel by 30 percent or the equivalent of 10 million tons of fossil diesel fuel.
Moreover, we expect to be able to produce green gasoline (bio-premium) and even bioavtur from palm oil in the near future. Gradually, we will enter a new phase of replacing fossil fuel (gasoline) with green gasoline from palm oil.
From the palm oil, not only will we be able to produce food and energy, but also bioplastics to replace petroplastics we import every year. Our petrochemical imports are around US $ 6 billion every year. Petroplastics are difficult to decompose naturally (non-biodegradable) so that after being used, they turn into a pile of garbage that pollutes waters or environment. Indonesia is the second largest country to produce plastic waste that has polluted the environment. Therefore, substituting petroplastics with bioplastics from palm oil is a priority. Bioplastics that are biodegradable will not accumulate polluting the environment.
This ‘above ground’ oil to substitute the ‘underground’ oil is deemed more beneficial for economy, social, and environement. The production process starts from oil palm plantations, it turns the regional economy, creates and increases income and absorbs millions of workers in 200 districts in remote areas. Another major difference is, the “above ground” oil absorbs carbon dioxide from the earth’s air and produces oxygen for life. While “underground” oil actually releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which causes global warming and environmental changes.
Therefore, the “above ground” oil which refers to oil palm plantations produces food, environmentally friendly fuel, biomaterials, cleanses the earth’s air (absorbs carbon dioxide and produces oxygen). As long as the sun still shines, the “above ground” oil will still be able to be produced from generation to generation or sustainably.
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