PH has enough coco supply to attain 5% biofuel blend—PCA
Local coconut production can support the proposed increase in the blending of coco-methyl ester (CME) in diesel products, even up to 20 percent, according to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).
PCA deputy administrator Carlos Carpio said in a briefing that the country can achieve its blending targets, provided that “we continue the planting and replanting of high-yielding coconut varieties and hybrids in highly suitable areas of the Philippines.”
“PCA has already developed 15 hybrids and one open pollinated variety, which can yield 4-6 tons per hectare per year, and 2030 is still 18 years away. Thus, if we do this now, even before 2030, we can attain the supply already to support 20 percent blend,” Carpio said.
He added that the agency has even recommended that the biodiesel blend be increased to 5 percent from the current 2 percent, as the country has enough supply to meet a higher blend.
Based on previous industry estimates, a 5-percent biodiesel blend will require 350 million liters of CME, well below the total capacity of the industry of 380 million as of 2009.
Carpio’s remarks came amid the pronouncements made by the Department of Energy, that it was drafting a revised five-year biofuel program to increase by 2030 the blend of ethanol in gasoline to 20 percent (E20), from the current 10 percent (E10), and of CME in diesel products to 10 percent (B10) from the current 2 percent (B2).
Energy Undersecretary Jose M. Layug Jr. earlier said that under the new biofuel plan, the government would set realistic targets and outline the programs that needed to be implemented to attain its goals.
“Originally, when we passed the Biofuels Act in 2006, we said we would target to be the No. 1 producer of biofuels. More than five years later, we are hardly producing ethanol. So we revisited our biofuels program, we looked at some of the issues and problems of the industry, and then set a new target for the next five to 10 years,” Layug had said.
According to the official, the new blending targets of E20 and B10 are more realistic since the government has looked at both sides of the food versus fuel debate.
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