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Reducing Carbon Emissions in Indonesia’s Air Transportation Sector with Bio Aviation Fuel

As part of Indonesia’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the air transportation sector, the Indonesian government is committed to encouraging the use of bio aviation turbine (bioavtur) fuels. According to a written statement released by the transportation minister, the air transportation sector currently contributes 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming. He stated that Indonesia completed a trial test for palm oil-based jet fuel known as Bioavtur J2.4, which is generated by a state-owned oil and gas firm refinery in Cilacap, Central Java.

The bioavtur J2.4 contains 2.4% biofuel derived from palm kernels using catalyst technology. The bioavtur J2.4 trial flight took place on a CN235 plane flying from Bandung to Jakarta. The trial test may provide a positive impetus for Indonesia to conduct a bioavtur trial run on a civilian aircraft as soon as possible.

We realise that the development of palm oil-based jet fuel is a strategic issue not only at a national level but also at a global level.

– Indonesia’s Transportation Minister

The transportation minister believes that the production of renewable energy will contribute to Indonesia’s concrete contribution to reducing carbon emissions and preventing climate change because of aviation activities. He explained that the bioavtur J2.4 has gone through a lengthy process before it can be used as jet fuel.

The Catalyst Engineering Centre at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) began laboratory-scale boavtur co-processing using finely tuned bleached degummed palm kernel RBDPKO) with the Red and White catalyst. Later, an industrial-scale co-processing production trial was conducted at the Cilacap Refinery Unit to produce J2.0 in 2020 and J2.4 in early 2021. Moreover, a series of bioavtur J2.4 technical trial runs have been conducted since last month.

The trial run results show that J2.4 meets the boavtur fuel specifications established by Decision No. 35 of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s Director-General of Oil and Gas in 2021. J2.4 can replace pure bioavtur fuel. According to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, the successful trial run marks a watershed moment in the use of palm kernel blended bioavtur fuel.

“The success will be the first stage of bioavtur fuel’s contribution in the air transportation sector to increase national energy resilience and security,” he said. The government has mandated the use of 3% biofuel for bioavtur fuel by 2020 and 5% biofuel for bioavtur fuel by 2025 under the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister’s Regulation No. 12/2015.

OpenGov Asia in an article reported that the Indonesian government has also encouraged the use of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) technology in the development of oil and rare earth gas fields to mitigate the impact of climate change caused by mining activities.

According to an official from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, the use of clean energy, such as CCUS, has become the primary consideration in ensuring availability, affordability, sustainability, and competitiveness to achieve energy sovereignty as well as climate resilience and a low-carbon future.

In addition, in response to this mandate, Indonesia has submitted the Long-Term Strategy for Low Carbon and Climate Resilience 2050, which aims to contribute to global goals while also achieving national development objectives by balancing emission reduction, economic growth, justice, and climate resilience development. Indonesia seeks opportunities for international partnerships under the LTS-LCCR 2050 to support a sustainable transition to a low-carbon economy and green recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as global justice. Best believe this would be an opportunity to start a transition phase which will lead to the transformation of Indonesia’s whole economy, social and environmental development.

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