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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Bio-fuel Plant in the Philippines

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Construction of the first coconut bio-fuel energy plant was announced by the Arroyo administration recently. It will be located in the coastal town of Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte Province. More than 400,000 hectares of land will be developed and planted with coconut trees to insure the supply of coconut oil for domestic market demand .

This bio-fuel power project is one of the many ways of solving climate change because the use of coconut bio-diesel will reduce green house gas emission in the atmosphere. The advantage of bio-fuel in comparison to other types of fuel sources is its biodegradability.

The first phase of the project is the construction of the Coconut Oil Mill Plant.. This will include a copra warehouse, copra milling section, coconut oil refinery section, copra cake section, storage tanks, administration offices and port facility. The second phase will be the construction of the Coconut biodiesel plant and the coconut shell processing plant. This plant is expected to produce at least 2,000 tons of coconut oil per month with provisions of up to 25,000 tons and resulting to about 300,000 tons of coconut biodiesel annually.

The estimated cost of this project is about 3.5 billion pesos of which 500 million pesos is allocated for land and infrastructure development. The remaining 3 billion pesos will be for the plantation of coconut trees, including provisions for livelihood and employment, farm supplies, fertilizers, seedlings and other needs.

Completion of this project will ensure the region its own source of alternative fuel, thus lessened the regions dependence on imported fossil fuels. It will also create job opportunities and an economic boom to other related industries.

I hope that Marinduque will be a future site of the next coconut bio-fuel plant in the Philippines. Marinduque has the land and coconut plantations needed for this eco-friendly project. Provincial officials should lobby the next administration for this excellent project, which will be a big boost to the improvement of economic conditions of the province.

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