Manila Welcomes Asia’s First Big Biodiesel Plant

Manila, Philippines [Financial Times] The Philippines inaugurated Asia’s first large-scale biodiesel plant, which can produce up to 60 m liters a year of the alternative fuel from coconut oil, a big step for the poor south-east Asian country. Chemrez Inc, a Manila-based oleochemicals maker, built the plant for 650 m pesos ($12.6 m, Euro10 m, GBP6.9 m) ahead of the passage later this year of legislation requiring petrol refiners and distributors to sell diesel fuel mix with at least 1 percent coconut oil, and petrol containing at least 5 percent of sugar ethanol. … The country’s trade deficit grew by almost a third to $7.5 bn as its oil import bill surged. … The move could lower the unleaded gasoline price by about a tenth but would also cost the government about 29 bn pesos a year in forgone revenue, equivalent to about a fourth of its 125 bn pesos budget deficit target this year.
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