DOE turns up heat on methanol-tainted fuel sellers


Posted at Dec 10 2016 07:54 PM

Days after it said it had found methanol-tainted fuel in several gasoline stations, the energy department said that it "sees the need" to intensify inspections, despite recent initial fuel inspections turning up negative for contamination.

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently inspected and sampled liquid petroleum products in several gasoline stations and retail outlets around the country.

“Initially, inspection results showed that all gasoline samples passed the calibration test for quantity of fuels. But for quality, only one sample is still being confirmed for having methanol at the DOE laboratory,” said Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Cusi had earlier ordered the inspection and sampling of liquid petroleum products in retail outlets nationwide, to ensure compliance with Philippine National Standards for fuels, the DOE said in a statement.

Gasoline tainted by methanol, also known as methyl alcohol or wood alcohol, may cause corrosion in engines. Methanol is a toxic substance that is commonly used as an industrial solvent or pesticide.

Republic Act No. 9367, also known as the Biofuels Act of 2006, calls for the blending of ethanol, not methanol, with gasoline. Under the law, all fuel sold in the country must be 10-percent bioethanol.

"We see the need to intensify this campaign to further protect the consumer. That is why this activity is simultaneously being done nationwide . . . to ensure that fuels sold in the market comply with set standards," Cusi said.

Energy officials also urged the public to report suspicious gasoline businesses to [email protected].