|Thailand to propose bio-fuel solution for Asia |
|Thursday, 3 June 2004Alfean Hardy, Malaysia|
The Thai government is to raise the issue of increasing the use of bio-fuels with other Asian countries in order to minimise the region's dependency on fossil fuels.
The proposal is expected to be mooted at the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) ministerial meeting in the Philippines.
Thailand will also encourage private sector manufacturers to adapt engines to be able to consume either bio-diesel or gasohol.
In a statement Thailand's Energy Minister Dr Prommin Lertsuridej said, "As world oil demand has risen significantly and oil exports cannot be raised, we cannot avoid the impact of rising oil prices but bio-fuels would be the way out for Asia.
"As Asia will become the top energy consumer in the future, the region should shift its energy consumption to bio-fuels as an alternative to help cushion the impact of the soaring oil prices."
"In addition, co-operation involving Thailand, China and Japan will be announced to research renewable energy sources for automobiles. If the major oil consuming countries in Asia turned to bio fuels, it would make alternative fuels more viable and encourage automobile producers to modify their engines to accommodate them.
"The announcement is expected to have a psychological effect on oil prices at present but over the longer term Asia is seeking secure, stable energy supplies and cheap prices to replace current high levels of oil imports," added Dr Prommin.
Currently, bio-fuel is in limited use in Asia and is not yet at levels which are conducive for commercial use.
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