Sugar miller diversifies into ethyl alcohol production | Inquirer Business
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Sugar miller diversifies into ethyl alcohol production

/ 04:11 AM April 06, 2020

Sugar milling giant Victorias Milling Corp. (VMC) is diversifying into ethyl alcohol production to help the nation fortify its defense against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

VMC is expected to produce 200,000 liters of rubbing alcohol a month, all of which will be donated to hospitals and various institutions to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic, VMC chair Wilson Young said in an interview with Inquirer.

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Even when the crisis is over, Young said VMC would conti­nue to produce rubbing alcohol as part of its commercial business.

VMC has obtained pertinent permits from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manufacture ethyl alcohol, VMC told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday.

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Young commended Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay and FDA Director General Rolando Enrique Domingo for their swift action on VMC’s initiative.

Asked how much of VMC’s manufacturing capacity could be refocused to 70-percent ethyl alcohol production, Young estimated that it would be 20 percent of the present total capacity. Ethyl alcohol is estimated to cost about P50 to produce per liter.

VMC, which is 30.9-percent owned by LT Group Inc., currently sells raw sugar, refined sugar, molasses, alcohol, ethanol and power from its biomass-fired power plant.

For crop year 2018-2019, VMC milled 2.7 million tons of sugarcane, slightly lower than the previous year, due to a 6-percent decline in provincial output from 12.72 million tons to only 11.88 million tons this crop year. The drop in production was attributed to the El Niño weather that limited soil moisture needed for optimum growth of the sugarcane crop, resulting in a drop in cane productivity or the tonnage per hectare.

Meanwhile, VMC affiliates Asia Brewery and Tanduay Distillers likewise earlier repurposed some of their production lines to produce ethyl alcohol. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA INQ

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TAGS: alcohol, sugar, Victorias Milling Corp. (VMC)
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