DOE aims to increase biodiesel content in fuel products

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The Department of Energy (DOE) aims to increase the biodiesel blend in petroleum products to 5.0-percent by volume, citing sufficiency of supply.

Energy Asec. Leonido Pulido III made this pronouncement during the international symposium of the Japan Cooperation Center Petroleum (JCCP), in which he highlighted the Philippine government’s continuing implementation of the country’s biofuels program.

At present, the biodiesel blend stands at 2.0-percent by volume, while ethanol is at 10-percent. The hike in the biodiesel blend is being aggressively pushed since domestic production would be able to meet demand.

In a report by the Manila Bulletin, Pulido noted that the total rated production capacity of the country’s 13 accredited biodiesel producers is around 707.9 million liters per year, which in tangible terms could result to more than 300-percent of the required B2 volume.

“This indicates that there is more than enough capacity to meet the proposed increase in the biodiesel blend from B2 to B5, should it be pursued this year,” Pulido was quoted as saying.

He further emphasized that additional capacities amounting to 277.65 million liters will be on stream between this year and 2022. Thus, this could serve as basis for the oil industry’s need for higher volume of biodiesel mix.

The DOE however, cannot categorically state if the increase in biodiesel, which generally leans on coco methyl ester (CME), will be firmed up within the year given that the oil industry is still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the timeline of the Philippine Biofuels Roadmap, the department was supposed to increase the country’s biodiesel blend to 5.0-percent last year.

Pulido likewise cited the rise in logistical limitations, especially in transporting biodiesel to the areas where blending would take place.

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