DOE set to issue order requiring 10% ethanol fuel blend

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02:41 AM May 6th, 2013

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By: Amy R. Remo, May 6th, 2013 02:41 AM

The Department of Energy is set to issue a circular that will require the blending of 10-percent ethanol in all gasoline products.

In the same order, the energy department will also detail the phaseout of lower-octane gasoline.

In a text message, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla confirmed the issuance of the draft circular within the year.

The order was supposed to be issued last month. But the draft circular is still being deliberated while consultations are still being held, he added.

In the DOE circular issued in 2011, the deadline for full E10 blending in all gasoline products was set in February 2012. This was postponed to August due to request from the oil companies, given the lack of adequate supply of ethanol in the local market. The deadline was again pushed back this year.

Simultaneously, the DOE is set to phase out the lower-octane gasolines (RON 81 and 87), the lowest rating of which should be 91.

A provision of the draft circular called for the deletion of the generic term “unleaded” on the display boards of oil companies. This provision is now being opposed by a group of independent oil companies.

Section 4 of the draft circular stated that “effective July 1, 2013, all oil industry participants shall no longer use the term unleaded, lead-free and similar brand names in the labeling at the display boards, pumps and other marketing tools to the public.”

According to the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association (Ippca), it is opposing this particular provision because this will give the large oil players undue advantage in terms of advertising and marketing, given their hefty financial muscle.

In a letter to Petilla dated April 24, Ippca president Fernando L. Martinez said that the terms “unleaded” and “lead free” are generic terms that are being used for the benefit of consumers over the last 14 years.

The provision, Martinez explained, “will only be advantageous to the large companies that have large marketing and advertising budgets.”

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