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Phl to save P15B with 5% hike of coco methyl ester in fuel

Maria Romero

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The Philippines could save as much as P15 billion from diesel oil importation costs once the five-percent increase of coco methyl ester (CME) blend in automotive fuel (B5) is in place.

The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), the industry regulating body which shares a seat with Department of Energy in the country’s National Biodiesel Board (NBB), said Tuesday the proposal could also boost the country’s foreign exchange savings.

Petroleum and biofuel consultant Rafael Diaz noted that the shift to B5 could translate to an additional six percent mileage — equivalent to a net fuel cost savings of around P1.39 up to P2.97 per liter based on current diesel pump prices.

For instance, a motorist can save P3.60 in fuel cost in a one-way 22-kilometer trip from Quezon City to Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Diaz pointed out that the fuel cost savings attributed to mileage gain with B5 are “one of the most significant benefits of B5, along with better combustion and cleaner air.”

CME is a biofuel made from coconut oil converted to a diesel-substitute while exhibiting combustion-improving properties to lower harmful emissions and improve mileage.

Shortly after Republic Act 9367 or the Biofuels act of 2006 was signed into law, imposing an additional one percent CME blend in local diesel started. It eventually increased to 2 percent in 2007.

The Philippines was the first in Southeast Asia to pioneer the blending of biodiesel. When neighbors Indonesia and Malaysia followed, they started with the B5 blend.

Both countries are now at the B3 level, while the Philippines has remained at B2 since 2007.

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