An article by Nadya Natahadibrata, The Jakarta Post.

National flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia is planning to mix avtur (aviation turbine fuel) with biofuel starting in 2016, to help reduce its carbon emissions.

Garuda Indonesia operational director Capt. Novianto Herupratomo said on Tuesday the airline had taken several measures to protect the environment, including by preparing to switch from fossil fuel to clean energy.

However, the state-owned carrier’s commitment to supporting the use of clean energy will be highly dependent on the availability of the crude palm oil (CPO)-based biofuel that is currently being tested at state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina’s laboratory.

“We hope that the biofuel can be produced on a large scale so the price will be relatively the same as avtur. Hopefully [biofuel can be] cheaper than avtur,” Novianto told reporters.

All aircraft operated by Garuda were already equipped with the ability to use biofuel, and the carrier would soon prepare aircraft for a trial, he added.

Garuda needs about 1.8 billion liters of avtur per year to operate a variety of aircraft that it owns. In 2016, Garuda’s jet fuel consumption is expected to reach 2 billion liters per year.

In December last year, Transportation Minister EE Mangindaan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik on renewable energy in the aviation sector.

Under the MoU, the government targeted reducing the use of fossil fuel in the aviation sector by mixing avtur with 2 percent biofuel in 2016 and planned to increase the amount to 3 percent in 2020.

Following the MoU, a working team that consists of 14 institutions — including the government, the aviation industry, fuel producers and researchers — was formed to begin biofuel production, and the Agriculture Ministry was tasked with providing the plantations to supply the CPO.

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