Energy Department Wants More Studies on Raising Biodiesel BlendThursday, January 13, 2022
The Department of Energy is still waiting for more studies before implementing the long-delayed increase in coco methyl ester (CME) content of biodiesel from two percent (B2) to five percent (B5). There is no specific timeline for the B5 implementation since there are still studies pending, DOE-Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) director Mylene Capongcol said in a text message.
The DOE is part of the influential National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the body tasked to study and implement the biodiesel law. Raising the biodiesel blend from B2 to B5 this year was supposed to take place in 2020 but was delayed due to the absence of assurances on the sufficiency of biodiesel supply and logistical limitations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An advocacy group for the alternative fuel pushed for an annual phased increase in CME blend leading to B5 to comply with Republic Act 9367 or the Biofuels Act of 2006. For the long-delayed coco-biodiesel upshift to B5 happen, The Philippine Biodiesel Association (TPBA), the country’s leading group of biodiesel stakeholders and industry advocate, proposed a phased, yearly upshift starting with B3, then eventually leading to B5 to cushion sudden adverse market reaction.
The group has been pushing government to implement B5 already. TPBA said there is more than enough to meet the expected surge in demand, noting that the combined capacity of 877 million liters is more than sufficient to serve the projected B5 volume total of 650 million liters per year.
In a virtual briefing last week, DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said a meeting is being scheduled for the NBB for the possible upshift from B2 to B3.