Press Release
June 16, 2008

Zubiri fuels up with E85, cuts notorious carbon footprints
Ethanol at P34 per liter and jatropha diesel at P35

"Oil at stratospheric $136 per barrel tells us that we should go full steam ahead for locally-produced and blended biofuels on economic and environmental terms," said Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, main author of the Biofuels Law, yesterday.

"We can sell locally-produced Ethanol at P34 per liter and jatropha diesel at P35."

"We can't afford to wait for oil prices to bottom out. Oil speculators, producers and traders will make hay. It's our obligation to our people to give them cheap fuel. No one else will."

Zubiri said the local sugar industry can produce "enough ethanol for blending 3 billion liters E85. Today, E85 sells for P39.75 per liter. Since pure ethanol costs P33 per liter to produce locally, it can really lower fuel costs. Right now, E10 is P3 cheaper than premium gasoline which is sold at an average of P56 per liter." (Ethanol-85 or E85 is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline)

"We can buy E85 at P35 per liter if the law is implemented properly wherein biofuels raw materials are value-added tax exempt as provided in the Biofuels Law," Zubiri explained

"We have the technology and skills to produce very high quality diesel from jatropha which grows well in poor soil condition - or marginal lands - without ever going into fertile agricultural land devoted to food crops."

Zubiri asserted that these biofuel initiatives based on extensive research by the University of the Philippines Los Baños and other State universities and colleges nationwide "should go hand in hand with the promotion of flex-fuel vehicles for public passenger, cargo transport and private use."

Zubiri adds, "Flex-fuel vehicles, or FFVs, are vehicles designed to run on varying blends of unleaded gasoline with ethanol. FFVs can run on pure gasoline, pure ethanol, or any ratio of gasoline and ethanol. If gasoline prices are high, motorists can easily shift to ethanol. Ford Philippines plans to market FFVs locally once the necessary infrastructure is in place, such as the production of local bioethanol."

"Biofuels and FFVs for mass public transport and private use will cut our notorious carbon footprints, give motorists and passengers cheaper fuel and our farmers bigger incomes."

"We eagerly await the day when our gas stations pump the first liter of locally-produced bioethanol and biodiesel. It's possible to drive in comfort and not be guilty about notorious carbon footprints if we shift to biofuels."

"Among the proven biofuels reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, sugar ethanol exhibits 87 to 96 per cent less GHG emissions versus that of petroleum. It is superior to ethanol made from corn with only 10-20% less GHG emission versus petroleum." (Nature International Weekly Journal of Science. Sugar cane and ethanol: Drink the best and drive the rest, Emma Marris)

In coordination with Ford Group Philippines, Zubiri is conducting an educational campaign on biofuels that includes a 12-day biofuel-economy demonstration run on an FFV, a Ford Explorer fueled with E85 being provided by Seaoil.

"Ford, Seaoil and my office have actively partnered in various activities since May. We hope that this 12-day loan of a Ford Explorer fueled with E85 will generate enough public interest among drivers and transport operators to shift to biofuels."

"We mandated the use of ethanol blend at 5% within two years after the effectivity of the Biofuels Law in January 2007 and 10% from the third year to 2011. However, there is nothing stopping individuals from using higher percentages of ethanol-blends like E85."

Zubiri said the public was relieved that investments in the pipeline were on track stimulated by the Biofuels Law.

Sugar cane farmers in Cagayan, Isabela, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bicol, Central Palawan, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Antique, Lanao del Norte, South Cotabato, Saranggani, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat expect a stable market for their produce once ethanol production plants are completed.

Biofuels investments in production, distribution and use will benefit from an incentive scheme provided in the Biofuels Law, as follows:

  • Specific tax rate, zero per liter;
  • Value-added tax exemption on sale of raw materials used in the production of biofuels;
  • Water-effluents, defined as "reuse" and exemption from wastewater charges; and
  • Financial assistance from government financial institutions such as the Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, Quedancor and other GFIs.

The demo-run was held in conjunction with the celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the launching of SeaOil E85 at the Mall of Asia One Esplanade.

Also introduced in the celebration is the Laguna Biofuels Development Cooperative, a community-based Jatropha Production of the farmers-cooperatives in the 4th District of Laguna in partnership with UPLB, UPLB Alumni Foundation Inc., Office of Sen. Juan Miguel F. Zubiri and the Office of Cong. Edgardo San Luis and with the support of the local government units in the 4th District of Laguna. It involves around 1,000 farmers forming themselves into farmers-cooperatives in the 16 towns of the 4th District of Laguna and with a total potential area of 10,000 has. for Jatropha plantation.

News Latest News Feed