The Philippines considers higher coco-biodiesel mandate

By Erin Voegele | August 16, 2011

More coconut oil may be used as feedstock for biodiesel in the Philippines soon. According to information issued by the Philippine Information Agency Aug. 16, the country’s government is eyeing the potential of coconut oil to help further reduce dependence on imported fuels. A statement released by the PIA explains that the Philippine government is considering increasing the current 2 percent minimum “coco-diesel”—or coconut oil-based biodiesel—minimum blend.

No specific implementation date for a higher blend mandate was released. However, the PIA press release noted that the Philippine Department of Energy has policy in place that aims to increase the percentage of biodiesel to 10 percent by 2015.

During a forum held by the PIA, Thelma Tolentino, a public relations officer with the Philippine Coconut Authority spoke about the many benefits coco-biodiesel creates for the country’s coconut farmers. In addition to creating financial benefits for the farming community, Tolentino said that the production of biodiesel also leads to economic and environmental benefits for the entire country.  In fact, the PIA noted that recent studies have shown that coconut famers stand to earn more than 2 billion Philippine pesos ($47 million).

The Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, an intergovernmental organization organized under the United Nations of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, currently estimates that 3.38 million hectares (8.35 million acres) of coconut is in production.

The most recent Agricultural Economy and Policy Paper on the Philippines published by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service demonstrates that approximately one-third of total area dedicated to agricultural crops in the Philippines is used to crow coconut. The FAS also noted in the report that coconut oil is one of the country’s primary agricultural exports. In fact, the Philippines is named as the world’s largest coconut exporter.

On a global basis, data published by the FAS shows 3.68 million metric tons of coconut oil were produced during the 2010-‘11 marketing year. Statistics published on the APCC website state that 847,626 metric tons of coconut oil and 1,525 metric tons of coconut oil methyl ester were exported from the Philippines last year.

 
 
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