Thursday, 2 April 2009

12 firms eye $1.1-B biofuels investments in the Philippines

By JAMES A. LOYOLA
Manila Bulletin
http://mb.com.ph/articles/201068/12-firms-eye-11b-biofuels-investments

About $1.1 billion in new investments will be made by more than 12 firms that have signified interest in the biofuels industry even as the government is eyeing to increase the mandated blends to further boost growth.

Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes said during the Asia Biofuel Investment Summit 2009 that incentives provided by the Biofuels Act spurred the strong investor interest in the sunshine biofuels industry.

"The Biofuels Act provided attractive incentives for investors who develop and produce biofuels. As a result, from two plants in 2004, there are now 11 biofuel plants operating in the country. There are now more than a dozen companies who have signified their intention to enter the industry," he said.

Reyes added that, in the past four years, the industry witnessed an increase in biodiesel investments that has resulted in a staggering 623 percent jump in aggregate domestic production capacity to the current 383 million liters from 53 million liters in 2005.

He noted that the two percent biodiesel mandate, which took effect last February, will increase biodiesel requirement to 160 million liters by 2014 from 133 million lites this year.

For bioethanol, Reyes said the five percent mandated blend (which will be increased to 10 percent in 2011) will increase the ethanol requirement to 536 million liters in 2014 from 208 million liters this year.

He also said that, two years into the implementation of the National Biofuels Program, the Energy Department is still improving the "rules of engagement" in order to fast-track investments in the biofuels industry.

"The department is currently studying even further increases in the blend percentages, giving careful consideration to the availability of feedstock and the resulting final prices," Reyes said.

He added that they are holding consultations with stakeholders in order to establish the rules governing the operations of the one-stop-shop under the National Biofuels Board.

Among the existing biodiesel producers to date are market leader Chemrez Technologies as well as Senbel Fine Chemicals, Mt. Holy Coco,. and Pure Essence. Biodiesel companies that are undergoing accreditation include Atson Coco Inc, Lion Chemical Corp. and Freyvonne Milling Services.

There are currently only two bioethanol producers in the country, namely Leyte Agri Corp. and. San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. Other companies are in the process of putting up their ethanol facilities such as Cavite Biofuels Producers, Inc.

1 comment:

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