The Fate of Biodiesel Post-Pandemic

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biodiesel
Source: Ekonomi Bisnis.com

According to Oil World data for 2019, Indonesia is the third largest biodiesel producer in the world after the European Union (36 percent) and the United States (17 percent), with a share of 11 percent. These biodiesel producer countries using vegetable oil which is widely produced by their countries as feedstock for their biodiesel, for example, the European Union with rapeseed biodiesel, the United States with soybean biodiesel and Indonesia with palm oil biodiesel.

Biodiesel development in Indonesia was initially intended to fulfill global commitments in the context of reducing GHG emissions. This is because biodiesel is an environmentally friendly fuel because in the combustion process it produces much better exhaust emissions than diesel, which is sulfur free, has a lower smoke number, has a higher cetane number, the combustion is more complete, has lubricating properties to engine pistons and is biodegradable so it doesn’t produce poison (non-toxic).

The using of biodiesel as an alternative to diesel also aims at the same time to reduce dependence on fossil energy which is increasingly “undermine” foreign exchange and burdening Indonesia’s trade balance. In addition, the aim of developing palm oil-based biodiesel also aims to develop the downstream oil palm industry so that it can increase domestic absorption which will have implications for improving the prices of CPO and FFB.

Through mandatory policies and financing support schemes derived from export levies (CPO Supporting Fund/CSF) that managed by BPDPKS, the palm oil biodiesel industry in Indonesia is growing, as indicated by the continuous increase in blending rates from B15 in 2015 to B30 in 2020. Since the implementation of biodiesel mandatory, the demand for biodiesel in Indonesia also has increasing. In 2017, biodiesel consumption was 2.37 million kiloliters and increased by 49 percent in 2018 to 3.55 million kiloliters. Biodiesel consumption in Indonesia until November 2019 was 6.92 million kiloliters.

However, in this 2020, the  world is facing a pandemic due to Covid-19 and its impact is felt by the whole world and in almost all economic sectors, including the biodiesel industry. Asosiasi Produsen Biofuel Indonesia (APROBI) as a biofuel producers association in Indonesia noted that Indonesia’s biodiesel consumption has decreased by 8 percent in the first quarter of 2020. Based on data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), the realization of biodiesel distribution volume during the first quarter of 2020 amounted to 2.17 million kiloliters or 90.4% of the purchase request or purdiase order (PO) of 2.4 million kiloliters. The decline in consumption was due to the fact that since the Covid-19 pandemic most activities had stopped.

According to the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Deputy for Coordination of Energy, Natural Resources and Management, Monty Giriana, explained that during the pandemic there was a significant decline price of fossil-based fuel oil. This condition has a big enough impact on biodiesel development due to the gap between the market price index (HIP) palm oil biodiesel and the HIP of diesel. For this reason, the government needs to provide additional programs so that biodiesel development can keep continue.

The Indonesian biodiesel industry is indeed faced with the pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic and world oil prices which are currently at lower levels. However, MP Tumanggor who is the chairman of APROBI conveyed in the Webinar “Post-Pandemic Covid-19 Biodiesel, Continued or Stopped?” that the use of biodiesel continues to run well and optimistic that this pandemic fluctuation will quickly pass so that the B30 program in 2020 can be successful, especially since Pertamina also has developed up to B40 in June 2021.

Chairperson of Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (APKASINDO) or assosiciation of oil palm farmers in Indonesia, Gulat ME Manurung also added that biodiesel programme must be developed by the government and must be supported by the government. In line with this statement, Professor of the Faculty of Economics, University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), Sri Adiningsih believes that the Covid-19 pandemic is temporary and mandatory for B30 to be a national priority program so that it needs to be continued for economic rescue and recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, what needs to be done is adjustments to existing development programs such as making efficiency for biodiesel producers so that the products that produced can be more competitive.

It can be concluded that the biodiesel policy in Indonesia is not only capable of producing alternative sources of energy that are lower emissions and realizing national energy security, but also a policy that is capable of generating great economic benefits such as employment absorption to foreign exchange savings. Therefore, support from the government and the people of Indonesia are needed to continue the biodiesel program in the the Covid-19 pandemic.
biodiesel
Source: Ekonomi Bisnis.com

Menurut data Oil World tahun 2019, Indonesia termasuk negara produsen biodiesel terbesar ketiga di dunia setelah Uni Eropa (36 persen) dan Amerika Serikat (17 persen), dengan pangsa sebesar 11 persen. Negara-negara produsen biodiesel tersebut memanfaatkan minyak nabati yang banyak dihasilkan oleh negaranya sebagai bahan baku biodieselnya (feedstock), misalnya Uni Eropa dengan biodiesel rapeseed, Amerika Serikat dengan biodiesel kedelai dan Indonesia dengan biodiesel berbasis minyak sawit.

Pengembangan biodiesel di Indonesia pada awalnya ditujukan untuk memenuhi komitmen global dalam rangka penurunan emisi GRK. Hal ini dikarenakan biodiesel menjadi bahan bakar yang ramah lingkungan karena dalam proses pembakarannya menghasilkan emisi gas buang yang jauh lebih baik dibandingkan diesel/solar yakni bebas sulfur, bilangan asap (smoke number) yang rendah, memiliki cetane number yang lebih tinggi, pembakaran lebih sempurna, memiliki sifat pelumasan terhadap piston mesin dan dapat terurai (biodegradable) sehingga tidak menghasilkan racun (non toxic).

Penggunaan biodiesel sebagai alternatif solar juga bertujuan untuk mengurangi ketergantungan terhadap energi fosil yang semakin “menggerogoti” devisa dan membebani neraca perdagangan Indonesia. Selain itu, tujuan pengembangan biodiesel berbasis minyak sawit juga bertujuan untuk mengembangkan industri hilir kelapa sawit sehingga dapat meningkatkan penyerapan domestik yang akan berimplikasi pada perbaikan harga CPO dan TBS.

Melalui kebijakan mandatori dan skema dukungan pembiayaan yang berasal dari dana pungutan ekspor (CPO Supporting Fund/CSF) yang dikelola oleh BPDPKS, industri biodiesel sawit di Indonesia semakin berkembang yang ditunjukkan dengan terus meningkatnya blending rate dari B15 pada tahun 2015 hingga B30 tahun 2020.  Semenjak diberlakukannya mandatori biodiesel, permintaan biodiesel di tanah air juga mengalami peningkatan. Pada tahun 2017 konsumsi biodiesel sebesar 2.37 juta kiloliter dan meningkat 49 persen di tahun 2018 menjadi 3.55 juta kiloliter. Konsumsi biodiesel di Indonesia hingga november 2019 sebesar 6.92 juta kiloliter.

Namun di tahun 2020 ini, seluruh dunia menghadapi pandemi akibat Covid-19 dan dampaknya dirasakan juga oleh seluruh dunia dan pada hampir seluruh sektor ekonomi, tidak terkecuali pada industri biodiesel. Asosiasi Produsen Biofuel Indonesia (APROBI) mencatat konsumsi biodiesel indonesia mengalami penurunan hingga 8 persen pada kuartal I-2020. Berdasarkan data Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (ESDM), realisasi volume penyaluran biodiesel di sepanjang kuartal 1-2020 sebesar 2.17 juta kiloliter atau 90.4% dari permintaan pembelian atau purdiase order (PO) sebesar 2.4 juta kl. Penurunan konsumsi tersebut dikarenakan sejak pandemi Covid-19 sebagian besar kegiatan ikut terhenti.

Menurut Deputi Bidang Koordinasi Pengelolaan Energi, Sumber Daya Alam, dan Lingkungan Hidup Kemenko Perekonomian Monty Giriana menjelaskan selama masa pandemi terjadi penurunan harga yang signifikan pada harga bahan bakar minyak berbasis fosil. Kondisi tersebut berdampak cukup besar untuk pengembangan biodiesel karena terjadinya jarak antara harga indeks pasar bahan bakar (HIP) nabati (biodiesel sawit) dengan dengan HIP solar. Untuk itu, pemerintah perlu memberikan program tambahan agar pengembangan biodiesel bisa tetap terus berjalan.

Industri biodisel Indonesia memang dihadapkan dengan tekanan pandemi covid-19 dan harga minyak dunia yang sedang berada di level rendah. Namun MP Tumanggor yang merupakan ketua umum APROBI menyampaikan dalam Webinar “Biodisel Pascapandemi Covid-19, Lanjut atau Terhenti?” bahwa penggunaan biodiesel tetap berjalan dengan baik dan optimis gejolak pandemi ini cepat dilewati sehingga program B30 pada 2020 bisa sukses, apalagi Pertamina juga sudah mengembangkan sampai B40 pada Juni 2021.

Ketua Umum Asosiasi Petani Kelapa Sawit Indonesia (APKASINDO) Gulat ME Manurung juga menambahkan untuk pengembangan biodiesel merupakan program yang wajib dilakukan oleh pemerintah dan harus didukung pemerintah. Senada dengan pernyataan tersebut, Guru Besar Fakultas Ekonomi Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) Sri Adiningsih meyakini pandemi Covid-19 ini sifatnya temporer dan mandatori B30 merupakan program prioritas nasional sehingga perlu diteruskan untuk penyelamatan dan pemulihan ekonomi pasca pandemi Covid-19. Saat ini yang perlu dilakukan adalah penyesuaian-penyesuaian terhadap program pembangunan yang sudah berjalan seperti melakukan efesiensi bagi produsen biodiesel agar produk yang dihasilkan bisa lebih kompetitif.

Dapat disimpulkan bahwa kebijakan biodiesel di Indonesia yang tidak hanya mampu menghasilkan sumber alternatif energi yang rendah emisi dan mewujudkan ketahanan energi nasional, namun juga menjadi sebuah kebijakan yang mampu menghasilkan manfaat ekonomi yang besar seperti penyerapan tenaga kerja hingga penghematan devisa. Oleh karena itu, diperlukan dukungan dari pemerintah dan masyarakat Indonesia untuk terus melanjutkan program biodiesel di tengah masa pandemi Covid-19.

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