MANILA, August 12, 2005
(STAR) 08/11 4:43:40 PM - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Thursday inspected the 650-million peso coco bio-diesel plant of Chemrez Inc. at Libis, Quezon City, Asia’s first coconut bio-diesel plant.

Chemrez’s Coconut Methyl Ester (CME) coco bio-diesel product that goes by the brand name ENVIROTEK BIO-DIESEL PREMIUM is now being marketed by oil player Flying V initially through five of its existing gas stations in and around Metro Manila.

Accompanied by Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, President Arroyo also graced the formal launching by Flying V of the product at its gas station in Cainta, Rizal.

The launch marked the commercial advent of coco bio-diesel in the local market, which is designed and expected to help counter the adverse impacts of rising oil prices in the world market.

Chemrez Inc. is one of two companies licensed and accredited by the Department of Energy (DOE) to produce coco bio-diesel in the country. The other is Senbel Sine Chemicals that has yet to complete its production facilities

Pres. Arroyo hailed Chemrez's 650-million peso pioneering coco bio-diesel investment which, she said, is critical for the country’s search for alternative fuel in the light of the progressively spiraling oil prices in the world market.

Oil has already hit US$65 per barrel in the world market from $30 per barrel only about a year and a half ago.

The President appealed to the motoring public to help optimize the use of fuel and energy by supporting the bio-diesel project. Coco bio-diesel, she said, as an alternative to regular diesel, is not only much cheaper but also more environment-friendly.

Coco bio-diesel now sells at P30.50 per liter compared to the regular diesel’s price of P29.90 per liter, but President Arroyo explained it comes out still cheaper because of its more mileage run per liter.

Studies showed that with coco bio-diesel, motorists can cover some 50 kilometers more per full tank or a savings of about P120 per full tank.

Chemrez operations manager Jun Lao said they decided to invest good money on coco bio-diesel development and production "because we can see the needs are pressing . . . and our motorists are suffering from rising costs of fuel and we can see this as an emerging industry."

Lao also noted that while other Asian countries are still formulating their bio-fuel programs, Chemrez Inc. has taken the cue from President Arroyo’s desire to develop renewable energy from indigenous sources to attain energy independence.

Lotilla, for his part, said the Chemrez plant, intended solely for coco bio-diesel production, would provide sufficient and reliable supply of this indigenous alternative fuel. The plant presently can produce 15 million liters annually.

"The first phase of the expansion project, targeted for completion by the first quarter of 2006, will increase the annual production capacity to 60 million liters. The second phase, to be completed in 2008, will further increase the capacity to 180 million liters," Lotilla added.

Lotilla and Quezon City 3rd District Rep. Mathias Defensor, Jr., joined the President during the plant visit and inspection.

Earlier, President Arroyo and her party were welcomed by Flying V chair Ramon Villavicencio, chief operating officer Paul Tanjutco, and Rizal Governor Casimiro Ynares Jr. and 1st district Rep. Michael John Duavit.

The President noted that Fying V is a new oil player but has taken the lead in helping the government promote programs to reduce dependence on imported fuel.

"We encourage others to follow this move and offer pre-blended CME diesel from the pumps to give motorists the convenience of using coco-diesel without the hassle of mixing it themselves," Lotilla said.

Aside from the Flying V Cainta station, CME or Envirotek Bio-Diesel Premium will be available to the motoring public at Flying V’s four other gas stations in Gagalangin, Tondo; Aurora Boulevard and E. Rodriguez in Quezon City; and in Valenzuela City.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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