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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Board meets to tackle higher biodiesel blend of 5% from 2%

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The National Biofuels Board will meet on Feb. 18 to discuss calls for an increase in the biodiesel blend from 2-percent coco methyl ester content to 5 percent.

Department of Energy director Rino Abad said the NBB meeting will ensure there is enough coconut supply to meet the increase in demand with the implementation of a higher blend.

Abad said there was no decision yet on increasing the blend and that they were still waiting for the rules from the Philippine Coconut Authority.

He said the DOE was also waiting for the results from the Renewable Energy Management Bureau on the road test for biodiesel “which will hopefully show the savings.”

Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo, chairman of the House committee on energy, earlier expressed support for an increase in biodiesel blend to 5 percent as mandated by law.

“In 2006, the 13th Congress passed RA 9367. President Arroyo concurred with our lawmakers that coco biodiesel addressed a multitude of problems on so many levels that delaying its implementation any further now is a great disservice to the Filipino,” Arroyo said.

The lawmaker said biodiesel helps coconut farmers, bolsters the economy and even reduces air pollution.

Arroyo said that by mandating B2 blend for transportation, the Philippines reduced its carbon footprint by 16.31 percent.

“If we could use B5 throughout 2022, we would have further reduced our carbon footprint by another 588,000 tons, on top of the 4.8 million tons carbon dioxide equivalent for the year if we remained on B2,” Arroyo said.

“If we started in 2022, a yearly ramp from B3 to B4 to B5 would further reduce our GHG emissions up to 2030 by a total of 6.5 million tons carbon dioxide equivalent,” he said.

He said that by ramping up to B5, the country would also achieve 14 percent of the energy sector’s 45.9 Mt CO2e target under the Nationally Determined Contributions in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

Arroyo said increasing the biodiesel blend would mean an additional 21.7 billion coconuts harvested and sold.

“On average, that amounts to over 1.9 billion additional coconuts per year until 2030, or up to 2.3 times more income to the farmers in a year, compared to now, not even factoring the rise in coconut prices due to the increased demand,” he said.

He said B5 will also allow jeepney and truck drivers to drive 6 percent further in average traffic compared to B2.

“This increased mileage somewhat offsets the increase in fuel prices due to the shift to B5, but the cleaner burn also helps declog diesel engines and fuel lines, and decreases maintenance costs,” he said.

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