Palm Oil Processing Special Interest Group

Challenges in Biodiesel Business - Malaysia

Date From: 10 April 2017
Location: Malaysia
Description: Evening meeting in Kuala Lumpur, with presentation by U.R.Unnithan (SUMWIN GROUP), jointly organised by IChemE's Palm Oil Processing Special Interest Group and Biochemical Engineering Special Interest Group.
Venue: Monash University Malaysia
Seminar Room 6-2-14 (This room might change depend on its availability, please register to receive email confirmation)
Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Bandar Sunway
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Online is available 18:30 - 19:30 MYT

Book Event

An evening event with technical presentation by U.R.Unnithan (SUMWIN GROUP), and time for networking over refreshments. Registration from 18:00; the event will commence at 18:30 and close at 20:30.

A pilot webinar session of this presentation will be ran that evening. To attend this technical presentation online at 18:30-19:30 MYT , please join here >>

This event is open to all. To encourage more participants and members, attendance at the event is free of charge and open to all. Bring along your colleagues working in the palm oil processing industry in Malaysia, and introduce them to Palm Oil Processing Special Interest Group (POPSIG), Biochemical Engineering Special Interest Group (BESIG) and to IChemE.

Advance booking is essential to attend physical event. Register now >>


The Biodiesel industry worldwide faces a number of challenges. The key challenges are Economic parity with Gas Oil, Tariff & Non-Tariff Barriers, Technical issues in moving beyond B7 & Lack of consistent Government Policy.

The sharp down turn in Crude Oil prices and the rising vegetable oil prices makes the parity of Biodiesel with Gas Oil unviable on a free market basis. The world over today, Biodiesel industry is dependent on Government mandates. Each region of the world is trying to protect its agricultural market by imposing Tariff & Non-Tariff barriers for the free trade of Biodiesel. Palm Biodiesel being the most cost-efficient faces the biggest barrier to entry in most soft oil markets such as EU & USA. While enormous amount of work has been done on studying performance of engines and automotives with varying blends of Biodiesel, getting warranties beyond B7 especially with Palm Biodiesel continues to be a challenge.

The uncertainty of Governments changing their stance on Renewable energy targets and compliance adds another difficult dimension to running the Biodiesel industry in a Sustainable manner.

As a very experienced chemical engineer, Mr Unnithan will also share the initial processing challenges that has been since overcome, the processing challenges it faces today to meet ever tightening biodiesel specifications as well as possible alternative processes in the near future.

Advance booking is required, click here to register >>


unnithanU.R.Unnithan holds a Master’s degree holder in Chemical Engineering from ICT (India’s Premier Chemical Technology Institute), he is also a Gold Medal Winner at the APEX MBA program from NUS, Advanced Management Program Graduate from the Harvard Business School.

He is the founder & CEO of SUMWIN Group, that specialised in value-added food, feed, oleo-chemicals, neutraceuticals and renewable energy. Mr Unnithan has 32 years of corporate and professional experience in the field of oils and fats, oleo-chemicals and biofuels. He was the Executive Director of CAROTINO Sdn Bhd in Malaysia, for 22 years, responsible for all Palm Oil downstream businesses of the group. He also worked with the Unilever Group in India and currently the president of the Malaysian Biodiesel Association; actively involved in the implementation of the Biodiesel program in Malaysia, since 2001. He is a Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Management
Member of the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) of MPOB. He also owns 3 Patents in the field of Oils & Fats.



IChemE gratefully acknowledges:

Monash University Malaysia for its provision of venue facilities and sponsorship of the refreshments.

Join IChemE’s technical networking community by becoming a member of POPSIG.

Visit to 

• get the latest news and information on events and other activities
• learn about scope, objectives and leadership
• contact the group's officers
• access member-only resources - including presentations given at past events

Access to your chosen special interest group membership will be fully activated within 24 hours.

To access member-only resources, you'll need to log in under 'My IChemE' using your membership number and PIN / password. If you've forgotten your PIN / Password, retrieve it by selecting 'Forgotten login?, then enter your membership number and the email address you have registered with IChemE.

Get involved with Special Interest Group

Join IChemE’s technical networking community by becoming a member of a SIG. SIG's activities are organised by its members. Getting involved can help you and your organisation to raise your profile amongst chemical engineers in the palm oil processing sector. Would you be interested in speaking at a SIG event in Malaysia, or giving an online presentation to a wider international audience via webinar? Or could your company support IChemE's special interest groups through provision of venue facilities or sponsorship of an event? To discuss opportunities, please contact

Share this page


My IChemE

IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).