The government’s attempt to expand the use of environmentally-friendly fuels is faltering and companies producing biodiesel are going out of business as supply exceeds demand.

The local biodiesel industry is expected to take another hit as the volume of diesel imports looks like it will keep on rising. Biodiesel is extracted from beans, rape flowers or used cooking oil that is usually made from corn or sunflowers. The government first announced its plan to promote biodiesel use in 2007, but has since scaled back its original targets.

Until next year, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy requires that locally made diesel products contain at least 2 percent biodiesel in a bid to ease the nation’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels. According to the original plan, the rate should have been raised to 3 percent mix this year and 5 percent at a later date.

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