Renewable Fuels

Philippines doubles ethanol production in 2014, but local supply still inadequate to meet mandate

The Sugar Regulatory Administration of the Philippines (SRA) reported that ethanol production in the country has doubled between 2013 and 2014 to 222 million litres. However, domestic production is still short of annual demand of around 400 million litres per year, according to Rosemarie Gumera, SRA manager for policy and planning.

The Biofuels Act of 2006 requires that all gasoline sold in the Philippines is blended with 10% ethanol. Total ethanol demand is around 400 million litres per year, she said. In 2014, Roxol produced the most ethanol by volume, at 35 million litres.

Three new ethanol producers contributed to the slight increase in production. Universal Robina Corp. (URC) built a new 30-million-litre ethanol plant in Negros Oriental. It received its first fuel ethanol order from independent oil player Flying V late last year. Kooll Company also built a 12-million-litre plant in Negros Occidental, and Far East Alcohol built a plant in Pampanga with a capacity of 15 million litres.

On top of the 10% mandate, the Energy Department has been encouraging oil companies to purchase ethanol from local producers, instead of importing ethanol, which is cheaper. Most oil companies are importing bulk amounts of ethanol to comply with the E10 requirement.

Some within the oil sector have asked the government to reconsider the biofuel mandate because domestic ethanol production is still not adequate to meet local demand.

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