Philippine NOC moves forward on biofuels projects

Philippine National Oil Co. subsidiary PNOC Alternative Fuels Corp. is moving forward with projects related to the production of biofuels from japtropha following approval of its 2007 budget for 1.257 billion pesos ($26 million).

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 1 -- Philippine National Oil Co. subsidiary PNOC Alternative Fuels Corp. is moving forward with projects related to the production of biofuels from japtropha following approval of its 2007 budget for 1.257 billion pesos ($26 million).

PNOC-AFC Pres. Peter Anthony Abaya said the company plans to invest in a planned biodiesel refinery, but he did not disclose details.

For feedstock, PNOC-AFC expects to sign a memorandum of understanding this month with Malaysian firm Biogreen Energy Sdn. Bhd. to establish jatropha "mega-nurseries" on 1,500 hectares to grow about 30 million seedlings within 2 years for commercial plantations and research, Abaya said.

Abaya said other international firms interested in undertaking biodiesel-related projects with PNOC-AFC include South Korea's Samsung Corp, Sumitomo Corp. and JGC of Japan, National Biofuels of the US, Malaysia's HDZ, and Brunei National Petroleum Co.

PNOC-AFC has already signed an MOU with Samsung for an 8.2-billion-peso jatropha plantation and refinery project, while Sumitomo has agreed to conduct a feasibility study on the establishment of a biofuels central terminal in Bataan.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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