DOE chief to study hike in coco-biodiesel component

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2013 05:18 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2013 01:18 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla wants to first thoroughly study the increase in coco-biodiesel component on commercial diesel.

The Philippines currently has 2% biodiesel component (B2) but the Department of Agriculture is pushing for a 5% blend to help coconut farmers weather dropping copra prices.

But Petilla says while Agriculture chief Alcala is pushing hard for the increase to B5, he first wants a study on the capacity of local producers the needed quantity of coco biodiesel.

Petilla says the industry produces 392 million liters of coco-biodiesel annually but in order to meet the 5% blend, it needs to produce at least a billion liters of coco methyl esther a year.

Petilla also says that price will be a consideration since a percentage increase in biodiesel means a 10 to 20 centavo per liter spike.

According to Petilla, once coco biodiesel prices increase in the world market, prices of commercial diesel will also go up affecting public utility vehicles used by the masses.