The National Biofuels Board has reached a consensus to increase the required minimum blend in oil products to 5 percent from the current 2 percent, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Friday.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala told reporters that the NBB is now on finalizing tests on the use of coconut oil in the biofuel mix, saying that the agency expects its implementation within the year.
“We are on the finalization of the testing. After that, we are going to conduct a public hearing to inform the public on the result of the test,” he added.
The DA is pushing hard to hike the use of coconut oil in the biofuel mix to ease effects of production surplus, which depressed copra and coconut oil prices in the world market.
The Asian Institute of Petroleum Studies Inc. (AIPSI), a knowledge-based company that conducts studies on petroleum and biopetroleum products, said earlier that raising the blend from the current blend of coco methyl ester (CME) from 2 percent (B2) to 5 percent (B5) will entail the use of an additional 211.5 million liters of coconut oil per year, thus taking a substantial chunk off the production surplus.
AIPSI said that B5 would need 352.5 million liters of CME while B2 needs 141 million liters of biodiesel, based on the 7.07 billion liters annual diesel volume as of the end of 2011.
Alcala said that the country has enough production of coconut to sustain a 5-percent blend of CME in diesel fuel.