Malaysia has stopped issuing licenses to manufacture biodiesel over fears that interest in the business will cause a shortage of crude palm oil (CPO) for other products, according to Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Peter Chin.
Chin said a cabinet committee discussing the palm oil industry's competitiveness resulted in the decision so more time can be spent reviewing applications.
According to a statement from Chin's ministry, the government has received 98 applications thus far for licenses to manufacture bio-diesel. The government will temporarily cease issuing new manufacturing licenses for bio-diesel production, pending a review of palm-based industries.
Malaysia is the world's largest producer of CPO, which is used in a wide range of food products.
The country launched its first commercial bio-diesel plant in January. The government, hoping to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, is building three bio-diesel plants.