Universal Robina Corp (URC) has received its first fuel ethanol order from Flying V, in a deal that supports the government's push for renewable energy, as well as a sustainable sugar industry. Flying V is the Philippines' largest independent fuel company, with over 350 stations nationwide.
Under an agreement signed last Dec 8, URC will supply Flying V with fuel-grade anhydrous ethanol suitable for gasoline blending. Blending gasoline with at least 10 percent fuel ethanol is in line with the Department of Energy's bioethanol program.
"URC fully supports the government's renewable energy program," said Rene Cabati, general manager of URC's Sugar Business Unit. He said the fuel ethanol supply agreement between URC and Flying V also reinforces the Sugar Regulatory Administration's drive for a sustainable sugar industry through diversification. "It doesn't have to be only sugar that we can produce from sugar cane. We can also produce fuel ethanol," said Cabati. He added: "This diversification into a higher-value product from a widely available crop in the Philippines will prepare the local sugar industry for Asean integration."
URC will supply Flying V from its newly inaugurated fuel ethanol plant in Barangay Tamisu, Bais City in Negros Oriental. The facility has a rated production capacity of 100,000 liters per day of fuel-grade ethanol using sugar molasses generated from three sugar mills in Negros. It is also the first in South-east Asia to use the "spent wash incineration boiler" that is environmentally safe and hazards-free.
The fuel ethanol plant is one of two projects URC undertook to support the government's renewable energy program and its search for alternative uses for sugarcane. The company is also commissioning a 46 MW bio-mass cogeneration power plant in Negros Occidental.
"Both projects guarantee that sugarcane planters will have a 'home' for their canes, and sugar farm and sugar mill workers will continue to have jobs, even as we face competition from sugar producers abroad," said Cabati.