Philippines mandates higher biodiesel blend from October 2024

Philippines mandates higher biodiesel blend from October 2024

The Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) has announced new guidelines to increase the biodiesel blend in diesel fuel sold nationwide. According to Department Circular No. 2024-05-0014, all diesel fuel must contain a 3% coco methyl ester (CME) blend starting October 1, 2024. This blend will be increased to 4% by October 1, 2025, and to 5% by October 1, 2026.

The Biofuels Act of 2006 mandates that all liquid fuels for motors and engines sold in the Philippines be blended with biofuels. The ethanol blend for gasoline has been at 10% since 2012, while the CME blending last increased to 2% in 2007.

The move follows recommendations from the National Biofuels Board (NBB) and aims to decrease dependence on imported fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and bolster the local biodiesel and bioethanol sectors. By mandating a higher CME blend, the DOE expects to create additional market opportunities for coconut farmers and biodiesel producers. Approximately 900 million additional coconuts will be needed to produce the 1 00-120 million litres of additional CME required for each 1% increase.

Economic and environmental impact

According to the DOE, results from a 30,000-kilometre road test using a 5% CME blend showed a 10% increase in mileage. The DOE estimates savings of about PHP4.17 (USD0.07) per litre of diesel fuel.

“Implementing the higher biofuels blend is a win-win solution as we promote economic growth, uphold environmental stewardship, and strive for cleaner energy utilisation. It is also about investing in a future where sustainability drives progress,” said Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla.

Meanwhile, oil marketers have the option to raise the ethanol blend in gasoline by 20%, from the current 10%. According to the DOE, raising the ethanol blend to 20% could lower gasoline pump prices by approximately PhP3.21 (USD0.06) per litre.