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PETRON BUYS FIRST LOCALLY-PRODUCED FUEL GRADE ETHANOL
Monday, September 29, 2008
In line with its commitment to promote the use of indigenous alternative fuels, market leader Petron Corporation purchased the first locally-produced fuel grade ethanol, to be used in its E10 Premium gasoline. The company purchased 23,000 liters of ethanol from Leyte Agri Corp., which owns the first manufacturing plant in the country able to produce fuel grade ethanol.
“We strongly support the local production of ethanol as a gasoline additive since it will drive capital investments in rural areas, create more jobs and more importantly, it will lessen the country’s dependence on imported fuel,” Petron Chairman Nicasio I. Alcantara said. “The use of ethanol in gasoline will also have a positive impact on the environment since it is biodegradable and reduces harmful exhaust emissions.”
Petron launched its E10 Premium product last June in selected service stations in Metro Manila as part of its efforts to make available cheaper and more environment-friendly fuels for motorists. Amid soaring gasoline prices, the company’s E10 Premium is priced P2.00/liter cheaper than its 93 octane gasoline.
Petron E10 Premium is a new specially formulated unleaded gasoline that meets and even exceeds the requirements of the Philippine Biofuels Law. It contains 10% fuel grade Ethanol and 90% Petron Premium Unleaded Gasoline with enhanced fuel additive. This unique additive allows the removal of existing deposits, which results in improved power and fuel economy. The company’s introduction of ethanol is ahead of the implementation of the Biofuels Law of 2006, which mandates a 5% ethanol blend in gasolines by 2009 and a 10% blend by 2011.
“The early introduction of our E10 Premium product, ahead of the government mandate, underscores our desire to bring the benefits of ethanol-blended gasoline to our customers and stakeholders as soon as possible,” Alcantara added.
To further promote the use of ethanol, Petron signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc. (SCBI) in the middle of 2006 to off-take SCBI’s entire ethanol production. SCBI is constructing an integrated sugar mill, cogeneration plant and distillery complex for ethanol production in Negros Occidental. The facility will produce 125,000 liters of ethanol daily. The plant is expected to be operational by the end of this year.
Ethanol is a high-octane, water-free alcohol produced from sugar cane and other crops such as corn, cassava, sweet sorghum. It is used as a blending component at 5%-10% concentration in gasoline. Unlike fossil fuels, ethanol is virtually inexhaustible since agricultural products can be grown and harvested continually under a sustainable system.
Petron E10 Premium may be used in majority of fuel-injected vehicles without the need for expensive engine modification. The company said that its service station personnel can provide assistance to first-time users who may want more information on the product.