Asia sees mixed fortunes for mixed fuels

Low-emission biofuels are enjoying unprecedented popularity in Thailand, but across the ocean Japan has delayed the introduction of cars that can use them over fears that the supply will dry up.

Though Japan is a leading advocate of reducing carbon emissions, plans to introduce cars that will run on environmentally-friendly bioethanol have been put back, as the country is concerned it will not be able to supply the necessary quantity of the fuel internally and is unwilling to become dependent on imports.

The Japanese Environment Ministry had hoped to see ethanol-blended petrol available at the pumps by April this year and all retail petrol replaced by the 3% ethanol blend by 2012.

But the eco-ambitions look to be thwarted by caution over the future risk to the economy.

Meanwhile, Thailand has joined the ranks of developing countries to take to bio-ethanol like a fish to water.

Last Friday energy minister Viset Choopiban announced that blended fuel now accounts for a quarter of the nation's petrol consumption, and sales have rocketed since January, increasing five-fold.

By Sam Bond




Waste & resource management
Click a keyword to see more stories on that topic, view related news, or find more related items.


You need to be logged in to make a comment. Don't have an account? Set one up right now in seconds!

© Faversham House Group Ltd 2005. edie news articles may be copied or forwarded for individual use only. No other reproduction or distribution is permitted without prior written consent.