The LT Group Inc of business magnate Lucio Tan has launched a multi-million dollar bioethanol plant in the Philippines as part of its expansion in renewable energy.
The company of the tobacco and airline tycoon informed the stock exchange on Tuesday that its unit Absolut Distillers Inc (ADI) will operate the bioethanol facility based at Lian town in Batangas province, with a production volume estimated at three million liters per month or 100,000 liters per day.
Gerardo Tee, ADI chief operating officer and overall-in-charge of the LT Group’s distillery operations, told local media the investments in the new facility might take up to $10 million (P500 million).
Tee noted that two of the country’s major oil companies Sea Oil and Flying V are the early major off-takers of ADI’s bioethanol produce.
“Even prior to the passage of the Biofuels Law of 2006, we already have a blue print of the project. We only waited for the right time. Finally, well-defined rules were integrated to the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law, so we think now is the time to begin the operations of the facility,” Tee said.
Ethanol is used in the gasoline blend and comes from agricultural crops such as sugar. The Biofuels Act of 2006 mandated a 10-percent ethanol blend in gasoline.
According to LT Group, to be able to comply with the government’s E10 requirement for gasoline, companies at present are importing bulk of their requirements. However, the Department of Energy (DOE) has directed oil companies to acquire ethanol from local producers before resorting to importation. But the national output of 222 liters still fell short of the 400 million liters annual demand.
“We see a great opportunity to provide fuel-grade ethanol with the opening of this facility. It also reflects our continuous commitment to green energy as we continue to provide a sustainable environment to the community,” Tee added.
The bioethanol facility is the third installment of ADI’s multi-million-investment project on renewable energy. ADI launched just last March the first 2-megawatt solar power generation plant in Batangas in the same area. Its first renewable energy investment was a biogas production facility established in the ‘90s.
LT Group’s last trading price remained at P11.98 since Tuesday.