Bio-fuel lured $1.1-b investments, says Reyes

Published by rudy Date posted on April 1, 2009

over 12 companies have expressed interest to invest $1.1 billion in the Philippine bio-fuels industry, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes said yesterday.

In a speech before the Asia Biofuel Investment Summit 2009, Reyes said the incentives in the Biofuels Act had drawn strong investor interest in the fast-rising industry.

“The Bio-fuels Act provided attractive incentives for investors who develop and produce biofuels. As a result, from two plants in 2004, there are now 11 biofuel plants operating in the country. There are now more than a dozen companies who have signified their intention to enter the industry,” he said.

Reyes said the industry had witnessed a growth in biodiesel investments in the last four years, resulting in a 623 percent increase in aggregate domestic production capacity to 383 million liters from just 53 million liters in 2005.

Reyes said the 2 percent biodiesel mandate, which took effect in February, would increase the biodiesel requirement to 160 million liters by 2014 from 133 million liters this year.

Reyes said the 5 percent mandated blend on bioethanol, which would be increased to 10 percent in 2011, would hike the ethanol requirement to 536 million liters in 2014 from 208 million liters this year.

He added that two years into the implementation of the National Biofuels Program, the Energy Department was still trying to improve the “rules of engagement” to speed up investments in the industry.

“The department is currently studying further increases in the blend percentages, giving careful consideration to the availability of feedstock and the resulting final prices,” Reyes said.–Alena Mae S. Flores, Manila Standard Today

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