The Philippines will need around 10 coconut-based biodiesel plants to meet the increased demand for energy by 2024, Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson on Tuesday.
“Given the aggregate production capacity of existing coco-biodiesel, the five-percent blend will only require an additional coco-biodiesel plant by 2019 and 10 plants for the 10-percent blend until 2024. Meanwhile, the 20-percent blend will need an additional 29 plants by 2025 up to 2030,” the energy official said in her speech at the Third Philippine Energy Efficiency Forum.
Ayson said the government targets to increase the diesel and coco methyl ester (CME) or coco-biodiesel blend to 10 percent in 2020.
She said the increase in blend is expected to displace a total of 906 million liters of diesel fuel and further accelerate the targeted 20-percent blend by 2025.
Ayson said a favorable policy environment now in place in terms of program development and fiscal regime will result in a steady influx of investments in the biofuels industry.
By 2015, the government targets the 5-percent biodiesel blend in the market, depending on the recommendation of the National Biofuels Board and with utmost consideration on supply availability, price and quality of biodiesel including blending, infrastructure and logistics. For ethanol, the 10-percent ethanol gasoline blend commenced last year and is targeted to increase to 20 percent by 2020.
Carlos Carpio, deputy administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority, mentioned that the Philippines has sufficient coconut supply to support up to a five-percent coco methyl ester (CME) biodiesel blend.
Local production can support the demand, however dependent on the government’s program for continuous pursuit, planting and replanting of high yielding coconut varieties and hybrids in highly suitable areas in the country.
He said the PCA has already developed 15 hybrids and one open-pollinated variety that can annually yield four to six tons per hectare.
Layug said the energy department was set to recommend to NBB a new five-year biofuels program for the Philippines.
“Five years ago and when the law was passed, we envisioned the country to be the No. 1 producer of biofuels [in the region]. And yet, we have hardly produced ethanol since the law was passed,” he said.
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