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Indonesia 2017 biodiesel use to reach 2.53 mln kl -govt agency

NUSA DUA, Indonesia, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Indonesia's unblended biodiesel consumption is expected to come in at 2.53 million kilolitres (kl) this year, said Dono Boestami, the chief executive of the Indonesia Estate Crop Fund, a government agency that overseas consumption of the fuel.

The annual figure would indicate a slowdown in consumption compared with the first half of the year, based on previous government data. Indonesia's unblended biodiesel use was at 1.67 million kl in the first half of 2017, reported Indonesia's New and Renewable Energy Director General in August.

"There were some months where we missed the target from April to June due to technical issues," Boestami told Reuters on the sidelines of a palm oil industry conference in Bali, Indonesia, on Thursday.

"We would like to increase the volume to reach 3.5 million kilolitres per year," he said, without specifying a timeline for the target.

Indonesia, the world's top producer of palm oil, is pushing to increase the usage of biodiesel to cut its oil import bill and curb greenhouse gas emissions. Tranportation and power plants account for most of Indonesia's biodiesel consumption.

Indonesia's B20 programme - the standard set in 2016 - requires a minimum 20 percent blend of bio content in diesel fuel, up from 15 percent in 2015.

Indonesia started collecting a levy on its palm oil exports in 2015 - $50 per tonne for crude palm oil and $30 for processed palm oil products - and uses part of it to help fund its biodiesel subsidies.

Boestami expects the fund's collection in 2018 to maintain similar levels to this year, as he forecasts for Indonesia's palm oil exports next year to remain unchanged.

The Indonesian Palm Oil Association on Thursday pegged the country's 2017 palm oil exports at 30 million tonnes, up 20 percent from last year. (Reporting by Emily Chow; Editing by Tom Hogue)