17 January 2007- Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla today welcomed Bioenergy 8 Corporation’s announcement to build a new biodiesel plant in Sasa, Davao, highlighting that this is the first biodiesel production facility sited in Mindanao and is therefore expected to enhance access to biodiesel supply and boost agricultural productivity in the region.
The biodiesel plant is jointly owned by independent oil players Flying V, Eastern Petroleum, Seaoil Philippines and Unioil. The total investment of about P50 million will initially produce 30 million liters of coco-biodiesel annually. Its annual production is expandable to 90 million liters.
Secretary Lotilla expressed optimism that with four biodiesel producers already onstream and several others undergoing accreditation with the DOE, including the new Biodiesel 6 plant, issues on monopoly of biodiesel supply will continue to be addressed as private investments respond to the mandate provided by the recently signed Biofuels Act.
DOE is especially optimistic about the Bioenergy 8’s facility being located in Mindanao
expecting that production will serve Southern Philippines. The Secretary said that Bioenergy 8 investment ensures geographical distribution of blended biodiesel at reduced costs for Mindanao consumers.
The Biofuels Act mandates a nationwide minimum 1 % biodiesel blend in all diesel-fed engines within three months from the effectivity of the Act.
The Philippines is one of the largest producers of coconut oil. The country’s coconut oil production is approximately 1.4 billion liters per year. Twenty percent or 400 million liters of this is used for domestic consumption while the balance of 80 percent is exported. Mindanao accounts for almost 60 percent of the country’s total coconut oil production.
Biodiesel production capacity within the Philippines exceeds the requirement of the
mandatory volumes from the Biofuels Act and biodiesel producers have been eyeing the growing market for clean fuels overseas.
So far, the country’s biggest coco-biodiesel plant is owned by by Chemrez Technology Inc. which has 60,000,000 liters annual capacity. Senbel Fine Chemicals Inc has a total annual capacity of 36,000,000 liters, Romtron Philippines located in Odiongan, Romblon has 300,000 liters annual capacity while Mt. Holy Coco has 4,000,000 liters annual capacity.
“This new biodiesel plant is a welcome development in our quest to attain energy security and self sufficiency for the country through the utilization of locally produced biofuels,” the Secretary stressed. He added that as anticipated, mandated market for locally produced biofuels will jumpstart biofuels production in the country and eventually allow the Philippines to even supply regional and global markets.
Chemrez has earlier announced that they are planning to export their biodiesel in Japan and Germany while Bioenergy 8 Corporation is already talking with a Japanese firm.