THE implementation of the mandated conversion of diesel fuel from a two-percent biodiesel blend to five percent biodiesel has been delayed while the Department of Energy (DOE) waits for the results of an economic impact study.
The shift to a higher concentration of biodiesel was mandated by the Biofuels Act of 2008. Under the Act, oil companies are required to complete the change from the two-percent blend (B2 diesel) to a five-percent blend (B5 diesel) by 2015.
Mario Marasigan, director of the DOE’s Renewable Energy
Management Bureau, said they are looking into the claim of coconut farmers that the 5 percent blend can help in their social economic development.
He said the department is still awaiting results of a study on prices, technical and logistics concerns of the industry being conducted by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).
“We need to determine what will be the cost to consumers and its overall impact,” he said.
The DOE commissioned NEDA to come up with a study that will traverse the value chain of the coconut industry to ensure that fast-tracking the biofuels program would not have a negative impact on farm and fuel prices.
The NEDA board has already recommended a voluntary increase in the biodiesel blend of oil companies.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and biodiesel manufacturers have also proposed an earlier timeline for the adoption of B5.
“As long as we have the economic study plus the technical issues being resolved, five percent can be done,” Marasigan said.