US aims to increase ethanol sales to PH
Ethanol producers in the United States are keen on doubling exports to the Philippines under an aggressive expansion program that is centered on opening up the Asian market.
Edward S. Hubbard Jr., general counsel for the US Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) told the Inquirer that the US RFA could produce as much as 15.2 billion gallons this year from the 14.6 billion gallons it produced in 2014.
The Philippines was the fourth biggest importer of US ethanol in 2014, accounting for 67.5 million gallons. The top three importers were Canada (335.9 million gallons), Brazil (112.2M gallons), and the United Arab Emirates (68.3M gallons).
Hubbard said the US RFA would happily supply the Philippines twice its previous amount of imports.
“What excites us in this market is your strong biofuels policy,” he said.
The US is the world’s No. 1 producer of ethanol, mostly corn-based, and ranks second in exports. Brazil is No. 1 in exports, with sugarcane-based ethanol, and second in production.
The Ethanol Producers Association of the Philippines (Epap) said that although there had been an increase in the production of ethanol, the country’s output remained below the annual demand.
Epap chair emeritus Jose Maria Zabaleta said ethanol was one solution to the country’s growing demand for expensive fuel.
Ethanol may be extracted from various energy-rich crops through fermentation of plant sugars, and further distilled for use as a gasoline additive, sometimes even as a fuel in itself.
The Sugar Regulatory Administration earlier said the local sugar output was still short of the country’s annual demand of “a little less than 400 million liters” of ethanol. Riza T. Olchondra
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