As the world's biggest producer of the palm oil pushes for wider use of biofuels to cut fuel imports, Indonesia on Friday flew its first commercial flight using palm oil-blended jet fuel.

Operated by flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, the Boeing737-800NG aircraft carried more than 100 passengers from the capital Jakarta to Surakarta city about 550 kilometres away. Note should be taken that, Garuda conducted several tests including a flight test on the new fuel earlier this month and an engine ground test in August.

The palm-oil blended jet fuel is produced by Indonesian state energy firm PT Pertamina at its Cilacap refinery, using hydro-processed esters and fatty acid (HEFA)technology and is made of refined bleached deodorized palm kernel oil.

Pertamina, an Indonesian state-owned oil and natural gas corporation, has said the palm-based fuel emits less atmosphere warming greenhouse gases compared with fossil fuels. It is exciting to know that palm oil producing countries have called for the edible oil to be included in feedstock for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Meanwhile, Harris Yahya, a director at Energy Ministry said the use of biofuel would lower the greenhouse effect, especially as the aviation industry is a major emitter of greenhouse gases; reason why it is looking for ways to cut its carbon footprint by using alternative fuel.

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