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PIA Press Release
Monday, January 16, 2012

PHL to plant add'l 13.8M coco seedlings for energy, other needs

by Alpha Selene Balasta

MANILA, Jan. 16 (PIA) -- The country plans to increase coconut production to take advantage of the growing demand for coco-biodiesel and other coconut products worldwide. Thus, an additional 13.8 million coconut seedings will be planted in 2012, said Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Deputy Director Carlos B. Carpio.

During the 1st Philippine International BioEnergy Conference (PIBEC) held Jan. 12-13 at the Manila Hotel, Carpio said the planting seedlings will be implemented under the National Coconut Productivity Program, which seeks to increase the country's coconut production.

In 2011, 3.11 million coconut seedlings were planted.

A fraction of the planted trees will be utilized for the production of coconut methyl ester (CME) or coco-biodiesel.

"Coco-biodiesel is a lighter fuel containing no odd-number carbon atom so it volatilizes faster than diesel,” Carpio said. “Furthermore, it has 11 percent oxygen which greatly assist combustion."

According to the Department of Energy website, the use of coco-biodiesel provides for more efficient combustion, increased engine power, longer mileage, and less emission.

Currently, there are 12 DOE-accredited CME biodiesel producers, but only nine (9) are in commercial production as of 2011. "The total capacity of nine CME plants of 392.6 million liters exceeds CME demand by 63 percent or 144 million liters in 2011 at two percent blend," Carpio said.

The increase in coconut production will benefit 65 out of the 79 provinces in the country, which are coconut areas, and 25 million Filipinos who are dependent on the coconut industry.

A study conducted by the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics in 2009 showed that about 32 percent or 3.4 million ha of the total agricultural lands in the country are planted to coconut.

The 1st PIBEC was attended by local and international bioenergy industry players who engage in bioenergy feedstock production, processing, logistical support requirements. (RDAASB/PIA-GHQ)

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