Report predicts increased ethanol production in the Philippines

By Erin Voegele | September 09, 2016

The Philippines recently filed an annual biofuels report with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network, noting ethanol production is expected to increase through next year due to the buildup of capacity.

According to the report, there were eight ethanol plants operating in the Philippines last year with a combined capacity of 222 million liters (58.65 million gallons). The nation produced 168 million liters of ethanol last year, up 46 percent when compared to the 115 million liters produced in 2014. Sugarcane and molasses are currently used as ethanol feedstocks in the country.

Two additional ethanol plants began operations earlier this year, including one newly constructed ethanol plant and a potable alcohol producer that began producing fuel ethanol. Together, the facilities have an annual capacity of 60 million liters.

This year, ethanol production is again expected to grow, reaching 266 million liters, up approximately 58 percent when compared to 2015. Capacity utilization is expected to reach 94 percent this year, up 76 percent from last year.

In 2017, another ethanol plant is expected to begin operations, bringing the total number of ethanol plants to 11. The additional 40 million liters of capacity is expected to increase overall capacity in the country to 322 million liters.

The Philippines government currently requires ethanol to comprise 10 percent of the total annual volume of gasoline distributed by oil companies in the country. The country currently aims to increase the blend level 20 percent in 2020 and 85 percent in 2025.

The report also indicates the ethanol imports in the Philippines fell last year, primarily due to increased local production. Fuel ethanol imports, which reached 339 million liters in 2014, fell 8 percent last year, reaching 311 million liters. Imports from the U.S. fell by an estimated 28 percent, from 246 million liters in 2014 to 178 million liters in 2015. The U.S., however, still accounted for 57 percent of total fuel ethanol imports last year, down from 73 percent in 2014.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the USDA FAS GAIN website.