Producers of biodiesel commodity in the country are intensifying calls on the government to finally implement hike in the blend to 5 percent by volume or B5 from currently at 2 percent or B2.

In a statement to the media, The Philippine Biodiesel Association (TPBA) indicated that “there is more than enough supply to support the shift to B5.”

That is effectively echoing the plan of the Department of Energy (DOE) to raise the biodiesel blend to 5.0-percent this 2021.

According to DOE Assistant Secretary Leonido Pulido III, included in the DOE’s Biofuels Roadmap 2018-2040 targets is the increase of the biodiesel blend to 5 percent in 2020. It was not met due to the pandemic’s impact on logistics and transportation difficulties.    

Dean Lao, spokesperson of TPBA, emphasized “there is overcapacity among coco methyl ester (CME) producers in serving the current B2 blend,” with him noting that the additional capacities “were built in anticipation of the shift to B5 as guided by the Energy Department’s Philippine Energy Plan.”

He fleshed out that the combined capacity of the CME producers at present stand at 850 million liters, which would be “more than enough to treat 17 billion liters of automotive diesel per year.”

The country’s main leaning on biodiesel utilization is CME, because this is a resource that the Philippines is richly endowed with. With CME, it has been explained that this biofuel, which is made from coconut oil, “is converted to a diesel-substitute while exhibiting combustion-improving properties to lower harmful emissions and improve mileage.”

The initial blend of 1.0-percent to diesel products was implemented in 2006, immediately after the passage of the Philippines Biofuels Act. And while the B2 blend was enforced a year after or in 2007, the targeted hike to B5 had stalled for about 13 years already.

The industry’s bid for B5 biodiesel blend this year was also backed by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), with Administrator Benjamin Madrigal stressing that “the increase in the domestic demand for coconut oil through the full implementation of B5 will definitely improve the copra farm gate price, and will eventually redound to the benefits of our farmers.”

Based on estimates, about 695 million liters of CME will be required to underpin the enforcement of B5 blend to diesel products.

And according to PCA, the figures they have at hand show ample supply of feedstock to support B5. “That is 1.864 million kilos of coconut oil – more than enough to support the mandate,” the government-run agency reiterated.

To recall, it was the Philippines that stood as pioneer in enforcing biodiesel blending to its fuel products more than a decade ago – even way ahead than neighbors Malaysia and Indonesia.

However, in the blend escalation, the Philippines already lagged behind these peers in the region as both countries now have their blends at B30 level.

Source: Manila Bulletin (