Here’s why Indonesia has the potential to boost the bioethanol industry


Follow on the launch of the Global Biofuels Alliance, Brazil brings a seminar to Jakarta on the role of bioethanol in decarbonization

BRASÍLIA, Brazil, Oct. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Indonesia will host the 9th edition of the Sustainable Mobility: Bioethanol Talks seminar, the first to be held since the contribution of biofuels to the energy transition gained momentum with the launch of the Global Alliance for Biofuels within the framework of the G20. 

The event will be held in Jakarta on 9 October, bringing together experts from Brazil, Indonesia, and other Asian countries to discuss ways of decarbonizing the transport matrix using biofuels. It is promoted by Brazilian Sugarcane and Bioenergy Industry Association (Unica), Brazilian Bioethanol Cluster (APLA), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, in partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil). 

“Bioethanol Talks is a unique opportunity for us to exchange experiences, discuss successes and challenges, transforming and adapting technological routes to advance in the decarbonization of the transportation matrix, responsible for almost 25% of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Unica´s president, Evandro Gussi. 

The event will be opened by Brazil’s Foreign Minister, Ambassador Mauro Vieira. The technical debates are divided into four thematic panels: public policies; bioethanol in Southeast Asia; the use of bioethanol and the automotive industry; and technological solutions for decarbonization.

In Indonesia, blending bioethanol in gasoline is part of the government’s strategy to expand renewables. In June of this year, the state energy company announced the start of sales of gasoline with 5% bioethanol, produced from sugarcane, in two cities – Jakarta and Surabaya (on the island of Java). 

The government has already expressed its intention to gradually increase the bioethanol blending in gasoline. The implementation of a potential E10 blending mandate nationwide would require an estimated 890 million liters of bioethanol per year – the country aims to produce 1.2 billion liters of sugarcane bioethanol by 2030. 

Indonesia has productive potential to boost the biofuel industry, and we can contribute by sharing solutions for the sugarcane agro-industry, as exemplified by our partnership with India,” says Flávio Castellari, Executive Director of Apla.

Castellari explains that in Asian countries, as well as in other parts of the world, there are various challenges to expanding bioethanol blending in gasoline at a national level, such as infrastructure, cost, product availability, and regulatory issues. All these topics will be discussed at Bioethanol Talks: Indonesia. 


The Ethanol Talks seminars began in 2020 in Asia. Editions were held in New Delhi (India), Bangkok (Thailand) and Islamabad (Pakistan).  They then travelled to Latin America, where they were held in Argentina, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

The events brought together Brazilian experts to offer co-operation and transfer knowledge accumulated over more than 40 years of large-scale use of bioethanol as a fuel in Brazil. In India, the partnership contributed to the progress of the Indian bioethanol programme, which increased the blend from 1.5% in 2014 to 12% today, with the goal of reaching 20% by 2025.

Currently, more than 70 countries worldwide have mandates establishing some level of bioethanol blending in gasoline. The biofuel has one of the lowest carbon footprints, potentially reducing up to 90% when compared to gasoline. In Brazil, since flex-fuel cars were launched in 2003, the use of bioethanol has prevented the emission of more than 630 million tons of CO2. In addition to hydrated bioethanol (E100), the mandatory blend of bioethanol in gasoline in the country is 27% and should be increased to 30% by the end of the year. 


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