PH expected to hit biofuel blend goal with new policy tweaks | Inquirer Business
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PH expected to hit biofuel blend goal with new policy tweaks

An updated policy on the accreditation of biofuel producers might enable the Philippines to meet the mandated 10-percent blend for gasoline and eventually cut its demand for the fuel, according to the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) and the Foreign Agricultural Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In a joint report dated July 8, the USDA and GAIN said the Department of Energy’s Circular No. 2021-06-0014, issued in June, ensured compliance with the country’s Biofuels Act.

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“In particular, it includes new required notices of importation and distribution, modified reporting requirements and enumerates penalties for noncompliance,” they noted.

If these were enforced, “[we believe] the revised measure has the potential to reduce gasoline consumption by 80 million liters and positively contribute to Philippine GHG (greenhouse gas) reductions should only the current ethanol blend requirement be achieved,” they added.

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Enacted in 2006, the law mandates that gasoline products sold at pumps should be blended with 10-percent ethanol. However, the USDA and GAIN said the Philippines’ average over the years was only at 8.7 percent.

While compliance with the 10-percent blend for gasoline would help the Philippines’ carbon emission reduction efforts, the USDA and GAIN said they were not expecting any impact on biodiesel demand.

Long-delayed increase

Related to this, the Philippine Biodiesel Association (TPBA) earlier urged the government to act on the long-delayed increase in the coco-biodiesel blend to 5 percent of all diesel sold at the pumps, saying this was crucial to helping farmers get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is a 5-centavo per liter lien contributed by every CME (coco methyl ester) producer to the Department of Labor and Employment’s Social Amelioration and Welfare Program,” TPBA said. “This funds the livelihood and training programs for coconut farmers and biodiesel workers.”

Under the Philippine Energy Plan, diesel should contain at least 5 percent CME blend by 2020. Currently, the market offers only a 2-percent blend.

TPBA said that if the 5-percent blend was followed, the required annual CME volume would have been 632 million liters. This represents 5 percent of total diesel demand, which was projected at 12.64 billion liters for 2021.TPBA added shifting to this blend would translate to foreign exchange savings on fuel import amounting to nearly P13.6 billion a year.

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TAGS: biofuel, fuel, Gasoline
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