SEAOIL to put up ethanol refinery in Negros

By Rose de la Cruz, Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Being first to introduce ethanol blend in gasoline in 2005, four years ahead of the passage of the Biofuels Law, SEAOIL Philippines Inc. wants to ensure the sustainability of its bioethanol fuel operations by building a 30-hectare ethanol distillery in Negros, the countrys sugar central, and entering into contract growing with sugar farmers in initially 1,000 hectares to sustain the distilling facility.

We can see that ethanol will continue to grow in popularity and usage since bunker or fossil fuel resources are rapidly being depleted worldwide and it makes a lot of sense to invest in planting sugarcane and putting up a distilling plant right now, said Stephen Yu, SEAOIL chief operating officer.

When the law required only a five-percent blend of ethanol in gasoline, SEAOIL was already offering a 10-percent blend. It is now market testing E85 blend [85 percent ethanol], a high heating blend suitable for race cars, SUVs and even normal cars of people who prefer to have rapid and high burning fuel, Yu said.

The E85, which is being test-marketed at the Pasig Boulevard station of SEAOIL is priced almost the same as E10 at P34.75 per liter although the cost to blend it is a lot more. SEAOIL said it is shouldering the additional cost. The E85 is a big hit among owners of Expedition, Pajeros and other SUVs and race car models because of its 105 octane content (even higher than the aviation gas 96 octane), Yu added.

Meanwhile, SEAOIL obtained last December the Quality Management System (ISO 9001:2000) certification from Geneva-based International Organization of Standards.

With this certification, SEAOIL will find it easier to attract investors for its expansion programs, said Yu whose expertise is logistics considered SEAOILs fastest growth area.

With the ISO we are going to attract new international clients to do business with us, particularly in the area of logistics, plus it would be a lot easier for us to market our services, Yu said.