Coco industry supports increase in CME blend


The country’s coconut industry is rallying behind the government’s move to increase the coco biodiesel fuel content to five percent in the coconut methyl ester blend (CME) to help local farmers and reduce the country’s carbon footprint. 

In a BusinessMirror report, The Philippine Biodiesel Association (TPBA) President Dean Lao Jr., said increasing the blend would entail immediate benefits with practically no additional investment in capital expenditure or infrastructure. 

Currently, the blend of coco biodiesel to diesel fuel is at two percent (B2). Increasing the blend to five percent (B5) would allow jeepney and truck drivers to go six percent farther on average traffic. It would also entail an additional 21.7 billion coconuts harvested and sold for a year. 

Pampanga Rep. and House energy committee chairman Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, meanwhile, said he favors the increase to B5, pointing out that it would further reduce the country’s carbon footprint by another 588,000 tons, on top of 4.8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions made a year if B2 would be retained. 

TPBA supported Arroyo’s statement saying that the coconut industry has been advocating for the increase since 2009. The group had also suggested an increase in biodiesel content to three percent or B3 on the way to B5, which the Department of Energy is also considering.

Arroyo added that the increase to B5 would also help the biodiesel industry as it would sell an additional 3.1 billion liters of 100 percent CME sold – which is equivalent to an additional Php186 billion. 

The National Biofuels Board is set to discuss the proposed increase on February 18.

Republic Act 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006 mandates a minimum biodiesel blend of two percent, “which may be increased taking into account considerations including but not limited to domestic supply and availability of locally-sourced biodiesel component”