Hyundai Requests Subsidies to Catch Up with Hybrid Technology

Korea Times. Hyundai Motor’s head of hybrid research has requested that the South Korean government give subsidies to manufacturers and buyers of hybrid vehicles because Korean companies are about 10 years behind Japanese makers. Kim Min-jin, Senior Vice President of Hyundai, said that hybrid cars will become a market standard... Read more →


Report: Toyota, Nippon Oil and Petronas to Develop Palm-Oil Biodiesel

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that Toyota and Nippon Oil will work with Petronas, the Malaysian oil company, to develop palm-oil biodiesel for import to Japan or for sale to other overseas markets. The companies reportedly will start collaborative research next year and intend to begin test production in Malaysia in... Read more →


Shell and Malaysian Palm Oil Board in Joint Research on Straight Palm Oil Blending with Diesel

The Star. Shell will work with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) on evaluating Malaysia’s Envo diesel—a 5% blend of palm oil with 95% petroleum diesel. Envo diesel is not a biodiesel blend; it uses straight palm oil, not a methyl ester. The Malaysian government launched Envo diesel in March... Read more →


Seoul Mandates 100% CNG Buses By 2010

Korea Times. The Seoul Metropolitan Government will only allow CNG buses to operate in the city beginning in 2010. The mandate is intended to reduce pollution. South Korea began a focused program to replace diesel-powered transit buses with CNG-fueled buses in 2000. Currently, 2,798 of Seoul’ s 7,766 registered city... Read more →


China and Malaysia Partner on Biofuel R&D

The Star. China has joined Malaysia in a bilateral research and development partnership to further develop biofuel and biomass production technologies. The Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and the Department of High-Tech Development and Industrialization of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology have entered into a memorandum of understanding aimed... Read more →


US Energy Provides Dual-Fuel Diesel-to-CNG Conversion Systems to GM Thailand

US Energy’s HFS uses diesel as a pilot and then replaces as much as 80% in dual-fuel operation. Click to enlarge. Tampa, Florida-based US Energy Initiatives Corporation announced final delivery in Thailand of its dual-fuel conversion system for use in the General Motors Thailand (GMTH) Colorado Pickup. US Energy is... Read more →


Malaysian Auto Company Launches Chinese SUVs fueled by Hydrogen and Gasoline Mixture

Bernama. LM Star Autoworld Sdn Bhd (LMG), Malaysia’s latest car manufacturer, has launched two SUVs (LMG Tourer and Trekker) fueled by a combination of hydrogen generated on-board and gasoline. The vehicles, introduced by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Johor Baharu Expo on Tuesday, use a... Read more →


GM Chevrolet Offers CNG Options in Thailand

GM Chevrolet Thailand will enter the alternative fuel car market this year, offering customers the option of equipping their new Optra 1.6L models with CNG equipment, or upgrading their current Optra 1.6L with CNG equipment. Chevrolet will guarantee the quality of these fuel systems, and the vehicle warranties will not... Read more →


Chinese-Thai Venture to Produce Natural Gas Vehicles for ASEAN

ETNA. China’s Yantai Shuchi Group (YSG) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Thailand’s Siri Project Construction and PS Natural Gas to produce natural gas vehicles (NGV) in Thailand for export to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Yantai Shuchi Vehicle company will invest up to US$1 billion in... Read more →


Thai PTT to Almost Double Biodiesel Production to About 100M Gallons US per Year

Thailand’s PTT Public Company Ltd is working on two joint projects for the production of biodiesel. One is with Southern Palm Company for 300,000 liters/day (about 79,000 gallons US per day) and the other is with Bio Energy Plus Co. for 200,000 liters/day (about 54,000 gallons US per day). Palm... Read more →


Golden Hope Plantations Targets 120M Gallons Biodiesel Production by 2008; Discusses Collaboration with Indonesian President

Bernama. Malaysia’s Golden Hope Plantations Bhd (GHP) expects to produce close to 400,000 tonnes (about 120 million gallons) of palm oil biodiesel by 2008. By way of comparison, total US biodiesel output in 2005 was 75 million gallons, although production capacity was much higher (about 395 million gallons). GHP chief... Read more →


China National Offshore Oil Corp. in Biodiesel Deal with Malaysia

Bernama. China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), China’s third-largest oil company, is partnering with a Malaysian firm to develop palm-oil biodiesel. CNOOC Oil base Group, a subsidiary of CNOOC, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bio Sweet Sdn Bhd, a company which specializes in biotech and palm-oil biodiesel research... Read more →


Indonesia Targets 10% Biofuel Use by 2010

Indonesia’s oil production. Click to enlarge. Xinhua. Indonesia is targeting a 10% domestic usage of biofuels by 2010, according to Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro. The Minister said that the biofuel would be made from casava, sugar cane, palm and castor. To meet the goal, the minister... Read more →


Malaysia and Indonesia Set Aside 40% of Palm Oil Crop for Biodiesel Production

The Star. Malaysia and Indonesia—the world’s top palm oil producers—are allocating about 40% of their combined crude palm oil output for biodiesel production, according to a statement from Malaysia’s Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities. Malaysia currently produces 44% of the world’s palm oil (15.1 million tonnes of a total... Read more →


PTT and CP to Develop Palm Biodiesel in Thailand

TNA. PTT Public Company, Thailand’s state-owned oil firm, and Charoen Pokphand Group (CP), a leading agro-industrial and foods conglomerate, have signed an initial agreement for the development, production and promotion of palm-oil biodiesel. The move is part of the Energy Ministry’s plan to promote the use of alternative energy, according... Read more →


Indonesia’s Biofuels Plan May Require $22-Billion Investment

Although still a member of OPEC, Indonesia became a net importer of oil in 2004 due to declines in production and increases in consumption. Source: EIA Antara. Indonesia’s plan to develop biofuels as a substitute for fossil fuels may require a total investment of about 200 trillion rupiah (US$22 billion),... Read more →


Malaysia Suspends Licensing for New Biodiesel Projects

Cumulative Biodiesel Capacity in Malaysia. Click to enlarge. Business Times. The government of Malaysia has issued a temporary freeze on the new biodiesel licenses due to the “overwhelming” number of applications for the construction of new biodiesel plants in the country. The Cabinet Committee on the Competitiveness of the Palm... Read more →


Vietnamese Firm to Make Biodiesel from Catfish Fat

(Reuters.) Vietnamese catfish processor and exporter Agifish plans to convert catfish fat into biodiesel. Agifish Deputy Director Nguyen Dinh Huan said that the company had been running trials on the fuel, made from fat left over from processing, to run pumps at its fish ponds in the Mekong Delta province... Read more →


Pakistan to Provide $66.4 Million for CNG Buses for Karachi

Daily Times. The City District Government Karachi (CDGK) has devised a program to replace old buses with 8,000 new CNG buses over the next four years. The federal government is offering Rs 4 billion (US$66.4 million) to help the local transporters to get these buses imported at subsidized rates. The... Read more →


Malaysia’s Palm Oil Production is Stagnating; Biodiesel Producers Keep Expanding

The Star. At a time when the country is looking to increase its production of palm oil to take advantage of the demand for the oil as a biodiesel feedstock as well as an edible oil, Malaysia’s palm oil yields and oil extraction rate (OER) are stagnating. The problem must... Read more →


QGX Launches Mongolian Coal-to-Liquids Initiative

Baruun Naran is within trucking distance of major steel and power generation centers in northern China. Click to enlarge. QGX Ltd., a Canadian company that has been exploring for mineral deposits in Mongolia since 1994, has engaged Nexant, Inc., a global energy consulting company with core competencies in coal gasification,... Read more →


Philippines President Pushes Jatropha Planting for Biodiesel

Manila Times. Philippines President Arroyo on Saturday ordered the Department of Energy to widen the propagation of jatropha plants not only in military camps but in all available public lands. The President had earlier ordered the conversion of idle lands in military camps into plantations for jatropha. The President asked... Read more →


Malaysian Company Takes 26% Stake in German Maker of 157 MPG Diesel Car

Loremo LS debuts at the Geneva Motor Show. Malaysia’s Kosmo Motor Company has taken a 26% stake in Loremo AG, the developers of the Loremo LS, a 1.5 l/100km (157 mpg US) diesel passenger car. (Earlier post.) Loremo presented the car at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and is... Read more →


Pakistan Hits One-Million Natural Gas Vehicle Mark

World NGV leaders. Click to enlarge. According to statistics from the Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP), the country now has more than one million natural gas vehicles on the road. Pakistan is now one of three countries in the world with more than one million NGVs in their fleets,... Read more →


Indonesia Considering Compulsory Fuel Conservation Measures

Jakarta Post. The Indonesian government is considering the enactment of new legislation instituting compulsory fuel-savings measures because the voluntary energy conservation program it encouraged last year has proven ineffective. The government will study legislation on energy conservation in other countries, including Japan, to ensure that the new Indonesian legislation is... Read more →


South Korea to Order Limits on Vehicle Use in Event of Escalation with Iran

Korea Times. The South Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy has announced a three-level energy saving program that will restrict car use and air conditioning in buildings amid concerns the escalating crisis over Iran’s nuclear program will push oil prices up further. Although oil markets seem to reacting more... Read more →


Thailand to Encourage Extending Palm Plantations for Biodiesel

TNA. The Thai Energy Ministry is proceeding with a plan to encourage local biodiesel consumption to bolster demand for locally grown palm oil. Under a plan approved by the cabinet, B5 biodiesel (5% biodiesel, 95% petroleum diesel) will be made available countrywide by 2011, with B10 available by 2012. With... Read more →


Florida Company Looks to E-Grass as Biofuel Feedstock

A West Florida company is looking to rent 11,000 hectares (42.5 square miles) of land in the Philippines to grow e-grass as biomass input to a gasification process to produce transportation fuels. The Biomass Investment Group (BIG), based in Gulf Breeze (near Pensacola), is offering as much as $400 (around... Read more →


Proton and Petronas to Collaborate on Engine and NGV Development

The Petronas E01e Bernama. Malaysia’s national automaker, Proton, has signed a memorandum of intent (MOI) with Malaysia’s national oil company, Petronas, to develop larger engines and natural gas engines for use by Proton. The MOI will see both parties collaborating and exploring the possibilities of further developing Petronas engines—particularly the... Read more →


Firms to Build Largest Palm-Biodiesel Plants Yet

Malaysia’s state of Sabah, the country’s largest palm oil producer, is the site for two separate initiatives building what would be the largest palm-oil biodiesel plants yet. In December 2005, a joint-venture between state-owned POIC (Palm Oil Industrial Cluster) Sabah Sdn Bhd, Sabah-based Suria Sama Resources Sdn Bhd and South... Read more →


Pakistan Orders Phase-Out of Diesels from Major Cities

Business Recorder. The federal government of Pakistan has directed provincial governments to phase out diesel-engine buses, mini-buses, wagons and two-stroke rickshaws from major cities by the end of 2007. The first meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Replacement of Diesel by CNG on Tuesday suggested that no permit be issued... Read more →


Myanmar (Burma) Converts 4,000 Vehicles to Natural Gas

Angola Press. Some 4,000 motor vehicles in Yangon (Rangoon), the capital city of Myanmar (Burma) have been converted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) under a plan to modify all vehicles in the country in terms of fuel operation, according to the Myanmar Ministry of Industry (2). That is... Read more →


Malaysia Mad for Palm Biodiesel

The last few weeks of December saw a rush of announcements in Malaysia about building palm-oil biodiesel plants, mainly for export, but also for domestic use. The spate of announcements reflects rapidly growing awareness in the country of the economic potential for palm-based biodiesel overseas, especially in Europe where demand... Read more →


Philippines Maneuvering for Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel Vehicle Assembly

Tribune. The Philippines National Economic and Development Authority NEDA has endorsed for President Arroyo’s approval an executive order that would remove tariffs on components imported for the local manufacture of hybrid, electric, flex-fuel and compressed natural gas vehicles. Current rates of import duty for motor vehicle parts and components are... Read more →


Renault Increases Stake in Samsung Motors to 80%

Reuters. Renault has purchased an additional 10% interest in South Korea’s Renault Samsung Motors (RSM) for 55 billion won ($54.3 million). The exercise of these options brings Renault’s stake in the Korean company to 80.1%. Samsung Group owns the remaining 19.9%. Late last month, Renault Chairman Carlos Ghosn announced that... Read more →


Mercedes Expands Natural Gas Vehicle Production to Thailand

The Benz E200 NGT TNA. Daimler Chrysler plans to begin producing natural gas vehicles (NGV) in Thailand—its first instance of NGV production outside of Germany. The announcement came during a ceremony in which DaimlerChrysler delivered the bi-fuel E200 NGT (earlier post)to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for testing for one year.... Read more →


S. Korean Refiners Reluctant to Introduce Korean Biodiesel

Yonhap. South Korea’s planned introduction of biodiesel next year could be delayed because local refiners are reluctant to sell the “unstable energy product.” The S. Korean Ministry of Environment (MOE) and Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) began working on biodiesel in 2002 as one solution for environmental, global... Read more →


New Zealand Scuttles Carbon Tax

New Zealand’s GHG mix is heavier on methane than many Kyoto nations. New Zealand Minister Responsible for Climate Change Issues David Parker announced the government is not proceeding with its proposed carbon tax (earlier post) and will instead consider other ways to ensure New Zealand meets its commitments to cut... Read more →


Ford Plans New FlexFuel Engine Plant in Philippines

Ford Motor plans to invest P1.1 billion (US$20 million) to add a flexible fuel engine plant in the Philippines. The engine plant will be Ford’s first flexible fuel facility in the region. Flexible fuel engines run on gasoline or ethanol blends of up to 85% (E85). The facility will produce... Read more →


Indonesian Oil and Gas Firm Building Country’s First Ethanol Plant

Medco Energi International, Indonesia’s largest upstream oil and gas exploration firm, plans to build a $34.13-million ethanol plant in Lampung province in 2006. This will be the first ethanol plant in the country. The joint-venture facility between Medco and PT Trade Bioenergy Indonesia will have annual production capacity of 60,000... Read more →


Hydrogenics Sells Hydrogen Generation and Vehicle Refueling System to KOGAS

Hydrogenics Corporation has sold a hydrogen-generation and refueling system to Korean Gas Technology Corporation (KOGAS-Tech) for refueling vehicles at the KOGAS research and development facility in Incheon, near Seoul. The hydrogen generation system reforms natural gas to produce the hydrogen—a departure (although one Hydrogenics had announced it was working on)... Read more →


Singapore Operator Launches First CNG Taxis: the Mercedes E200 NGT

SMART Automobile, a Singaporean taxi operator, has launched the nation’s first fleet of CNG-powered taxis. It will also establish at least two compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling stations by the end of next year. Singapore, which currently adheres to Euro 2 standards, is adopting Euro 4 emission standards in October... Read more →


Hyundai Introduces Mild Hybrid Accent at Guangzhou Motor Show

A Hyundai Accent Hyundai Motor (HMC) chose the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition as the venue for its unveiling of a mild-hybrid version of the Accent sedan, due to go on sale next year in Korea as a 2007 model. Hyundai said earlier this year that it would advance sales of... Read more →


Honda Considering Building Hybrids in Thailand

AFX. Honda is considering plans to assemble its hybrid cars in Thailand if the government provides sufficient tax incentives. This would mark Honda’s first hybrid assembly outside of Japan. Asian Honda, the carmaker’s Bangkok-based Asia-Pacific headquarters, said increasing demand for hybrid cars, driven by high global oil prices, has prompted... Read more →


Malaysia to Launch National Biodiesel Trial 1 Jan 06

New Straits Times. Starting 1 Jan 2006, diesel-powered public transport vehicles and army trucks and the plantation industry will be the first in Malaysia to use a B5 palm oil biodiesel blend on a trial basis. Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui said biodiesel would make... Read more →


Korea’s Renault Samsung to Export Compact SM3 Under Nissan Brand

The new SM3 will offer a diesel option by the end of 2005. Renault Chairman Carlos Ghosn announced that Renault Samsung Motors (RSM) will begin to export the compact SM3 model under the Nissan brand beginning in 2006. Ghosn is also the chairman of Nissan. RSM, of which Renault owns... Read more →


Malaysia Fast-Tracks Biodiesel

The Star. Malaysia’s switch to bio-diesel will begin next year, at least one year ahead of schedule. Three federal ministries—Transport, Defence, and Primary Enterprises and Commodities—have volunteered to pilot the use of a B5 palm biodiesel blend (5% biodiesel). The Government’s initial plan was to introduce it in early 2007.... Read more →


GM Daewoo to Begin Construction of Euro 4 Diesels

Yonhap. GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., the third-largest carmaker in South Korea, said Friday it will start mass production next March of diesel engines that meet the Euro 4 emission standards. A subsidiary of Geneal Motors, and the manufacturer of the successful Matiz (Spark), GM Daewoo began pilot production... Read more →


GM Daewoo to Join GM’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Project

Yonhap. GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co., the third-largest automaker in South Korea and now a subsidiary of GM (earlier post), plans to participate in the hydrogen fuel cell project being pushed by its parent. GM Daewoo will conduct a feasibility study on whether it can apply GM’s hydrogen fuel... Read more →