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October 29, 2007

Philippine-Chinese venture plans major ethanol plant

A Filipino oil company and its Chinese partner are planning a 30-million-dollar ethanol plant in the southern Philippines to cash in on an expected biofuel boom, a company official said Sunday.

Fernando Martinez, president of Eastern Petroleum, said his company and China's Guanxi Estates were planning the plant in the southern island of Mindanao with construction expected to start late next year.

Martinez said his company has already developed 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres) of cassava plantation in Saranggani province for raw materials and he is also encouraging neighbouring countries to produce feedstock for the plant.

The Philippines in 2006 passed a law requiring that all liquid fuels for engines should contain some locally sourced biofuel within two years.

Local oil retailers complain that the country does not produce enough biofuel to meet the law's requirement.

Courtesy AFP

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