SEAOIL makes history with E85 fuels

SEAOIL Philippines Inc., the Filipino-owned oil firm which pioneered the countrys use of ethanol as a gasoline blend, has introduced another breakthrough in the local petroleum industry with the launch of its E85 fuel- a predominantly ethanol-blended fuel product widely used in Brazil and Sweden and fast gaining popularity in the US.

As our competition are just now catching up on E10 (gasoline with 10% ethanol), we are again redefining the playing field by making E85 available at our stations, said SEAOIL president and CEO Francis Glenn Yu.

E85 is a fuel mixture that contains 85% ethanol (ethyl alcohol) and only 15% gasoline. Yu said aside from being an environmentally-friendly renewable fuel, it also has an octane rating of at least 105, making it the highest octane fuel available in the market at present.

In comparison, regular gasoline has an average octane rating of 90. A higher octane rating allows E85 to be used in higher compression engines which tend to produce more power per unit of displacement than its gasoline counterparts.Yu added that at a price of P39.75 a liter, E85 would also cost about P20 per liter cheaper than unleaded gasoline.Yu said the first SEAOIL station to carry E85 is located along Pasig Blvd. near Kawilihan Village, which started dispensing the alternative fuel last July 24.

We will be progressively introducing E85 in 15 Metro Manila stations over the next three months and, similar to E10, the goal is to sell E85 nationwide, he pointed out.

SEAOIL started the use of ethanol, extracted from grain or corn, as a gasoline blend in the country when it offered its first ethanol-blended gasoline (E10) in selected retail stations in Metro Manila on August 2005 two years before the biofuels law even took effect.

Under the Biofuels Act of 2006, the Philippine government is mandating the use of at least 5% blend of ethanol in gasoline sold and distributed by each oil firm two years after the laws implementation, or by 2009. The ethanol blend will be increased to a minimum 10% by volume within four years.

Yu said flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) can immediately load up on E85, while fuel injected vehicles from 1990 and up can get their vehicles upgraded to run on E85. We have upgraded a couple of Camrys, Altis and Civics, a Land Cruiser (owned by Sen. Miguel Zubiri), a Ford Expedition, a Vios and a Hyundai Getz, he noted.

SEAOIL has accredited four auto shops for E85 upgrades in Metro Manila, using kits imported from the US. Our principals have been upgrading vehicles since 2005, having upgraded thousands of cars during this period in 27 countries including the US, Yu said.

The challenge for us moving forward is to ensure that we are able to execute well in the planned roll out and for us to be able to claim ownership and leadership of the E85 segment in the Philippines, Yu added.