Philippines grant incentives for coco-biodiesel investments

Apr 22, 2004 02:00 AM

Malacanang has authorized the Bureau of Investments to provide incentives to investments involving the production of coconut biodiesel to reduce the country's dependence on petroleum diesel. The authority was contained in the implementing rules and regulations drafted by the Department of Energy in compliance with President Arroyo's Memorandum Circular No. 55 promoting the use of coco-biodiesel.
President Arroyo has also ordered all government offices, departments, bureaus and all the government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) to use coco-biodiesel for their diesel requirements. Coco-biodiesel combines 1-5 % of coconut methyl ester (CME) with diesel fuel. The end product, when used to run a car engine, could effectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions while increasing the mileage a vehicle could run for every litre of fuel.

As a result of the torque power of cars increase, a car could run 1-2 km more with every litre of coco-biodiesel, than when they are using the regular petroleumdiesel. Although coco-biodiesel costs 50 centavos more than petroleum diesel, the increase in mileage would translate to savings of 92 centavos to P 2.85 per litre.
Energy Undersecretary Eduardo Manalac said the President's directive for government to begin using coco-biodiesel would mean 30,000 government vehicles would be shifting from petroleum diesel. President Arroyo herself led the launching of the coco-biodiesel program in San Pablo City, Laguna.

The promotion of coco-biodiesel as an alternative diesel fuel was expected to increase domestic demand for coconut by as much as 350,000 tpy, boosting the growth of the coconut industry. At the launching, President Arroyo said the production of coco-biodiesel in the Philippines would help reduce the country's dependence on imported crude oil, as it effectively cuts the requirements for petroleum diesel by about 5 %.
Apart from the development of coco-biodiesel, the President said the government was looking at alternative sources of power, including the development of geo-thermal resources, hydropower plants and the joint exploration of Spratlys to help reduce the country's requirements for imported crude. Bunker fuel, a product derived from refining crude, is a known fuel used for many of the Philippines' power plants.

Source: AsiaPulse via COMTEX
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