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Philippine President Calls Establishing E10 Program “Urgent”

Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has categorized passage of the proposed National Fuel Ethanol Program as urgent.

The program would mandate an E10 blend—10% ethanol, 90% gasoline—for use in the country.

She made the statement during a recent 30-minute televised roundtable discussion of the government’s ethanol program with Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri (the author of the House version of the proposal) and Seaoil’s Glen Yu.

The bad news is that the days of cheap oil [are] over. The good news is we will not allow ourselves to be held hostage of the surging oil prices. We will not allow the situation to immobilize us.

At this point, fully covering current Philippine market demand with sufficient ethanol to meet the 10% standard would require the import of some 530 million liters (140 million gallons US) of ethanol annually, according to calculations by ED&F Alcohols, a UK-based ethanol supplier.

There are currently no major domestic ethanol plants operating in the country, and the first is due online in 2007. To supply demand domestically for the mandated 10% blend will require some P37.5 billion (US$668 million) worth of investments to set up around 25 ethanol production facilities.



Why not ramp up? Big steps require bigger risk.

Why not do something like
2006: 3%
2007: 6%
2008: 9%
2009: 12%

etc. Sure, it'd be nice to stretch it out over an even longer interval, but given her push for it happening quickly, wouldn't stretching it out even a bit allow for more ethanol to be produced/refined in-house and for more of the profits to remain local (and be taxed locally)?


Are they perhaps phasing out leaded gasoline?

IIRC Venezuela is supposed to be phasing out leaded gasoline this month. The octane from lead is to be replaced with a 8 % ethanol blend.

But yeah, ramping up slowly sounds like a safer idea. Then again, promise of a massive domestic ethanol program could have something to do with local politics.

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