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900 gov't vehicles now using coco-diesel

November 02, 2004

MANILA (PNA) -- The Department of Energy (DOE) has reported that about 900 government vehicles have started using one percent coco-methyl (CME) blend as the government stepped up its program to develop alternative sources of fuel for the transport sector.

In Memorandum Circular No. 55, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered all government agencies and corporations to use one percent CME blend for their diesel requirements.

Energy Secretary Vincent S. Perez said four months after MC 55 took effect, there has been strong compliance from the government agencies of the order.

CME, a substance derived from coconut oil, is used as diesel additive or blend. It is one of the most environment-friendly fuels.

The DOE said that the use of CME as an additive or enhancer to diesel results in better combustion, less emission and more engine power to the vehicle.

Joining the program for cleaner air are diesel-fed vehicles from the Department of Energy, Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Employees Compensation Corp., Local Water Utilities Administration, National Housing Authority, Natural Resource Development Corp., Philippine Coconut Authority, Philippine Convention and Investors Corp., Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., Philippine Export Zone Authority, Philippine Heart Center, Philippine International Trading Corp., Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine National Oil Co., Philippine Postal Corp., and the Supreme Court.

The President has ordered the DOE to accelerate the program in light of continued increase in world oil prices, Perez said. A nationwide implementation of one to five percent CME would decrease imported fuel dependency by three percent, he added.

Last week, Perez also led in the unveiling of the PNOC-Energy Development Corp. (EDC),s first small-scale CME plant at its Energy Research and Development Center in Quezon City. The pilot plant can produce 200 liters of CME per day.

Perez said that the project was carried out to demonstrate the viability of fabricating a small CME plant which can be replicated in the rural areas to help the millions of coconut farmers.

The use of CME will also yield savings to the government. Based on increased fuel efficiency of 32 percent, there will be an estimated P13.51 billion of displaced diesel. "This translates to a $239.82 million equivalent savings in dollar reserves," Perez said.

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