UK Firm to Export Biodiesel from Philippines to Japan and China

June 24 - London. D1 Oils, a UK biodiesel firm based in Northumberland, has signed an agreement with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to set up a pilot project producing biodiesel from coconuts for export to the Japanese and Chinese markets.

June 24 - London.

D1 Oils, a UK biodiesel firm based in Northumberland, has signed an agreement with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to set up a pilot project producing biodiesel from coconuts for export to the Japanese and Chinese markets. The coconut oil will be produced from a coconut plantation of 10,000 hectares, an area about the size of the Isle of Wight, on the Bondoc Peninsula in Quezon Province.

Under the deal, D1 will provide the technology, training and quality standards support for a purpose-built biodiesel refinery, and will export and distribute the biodiesel made there to the Japanese and Chinese markets. If the project proves successful, the model will be rolled out to 27 other regions of the Philippines, with plantations covering a further 25,000 hectares. Biodiesel emits significantly less hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, diesel particles and sulphur dioxide than fossil fuel diesel.

"This agreement is an important step in building our global production capacity for biodiesel," said Mark Quinn of D1 Oils. "Given clean air rules coming into force in Japan, and the Philippines, and government tax incentives in other countries, we expect the biodiesel market in Asia to expand rapidly. The agricultural sectors in developing countries like the Philippines have the opportunity to meet this demand by growing biofuel crops on a large scale and producing biodiesel for export and for their own transport needs."

"Our vision is to make the Philippines the biodiesel production center for the Asia-Pacific region", said Danilo Coronacion, PCA Administrator. "The use of biodiesel will benefit both coconut farmers and reduce the Philippines dependence on imported oil."

In April, Philippines President Macapagal-Arroyo announced that the development of coconut biodiesel production would form a major part of government efforts to reduce energy costs. The PCA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources are promoting the use of biodiesel to meet the emissions standards laid down by the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999. A Philippine Coconut Biodiesel program is seeking to make a biodiesel with 1-2% coconut methylester (CME) mandatory for all government vehicles.

In addition to this project, D1 Oils expects to build facilities at various locations in the developing world, and has signed plantation agreements in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia.

D1 Oils is planning to raise £14m in a stock market flotation this autumn to expand its operations. The D1 Oils team believes its technology is superior to existing biofuel systems because it relies on cheaper, more sustainable crops than oilseed rape, the basis of most current bio-diesel.

D1 Oils is at the leading edge of both the technology of biodiesel production and the growth of alternative non-food oils as feedstock supplies to the biodiesel industry. The company has developed unique technology to refine different biofuel crops, and to grow high-yield crops through large-scale planting on marginal and unused land in developing countries. D1 Oils is committed to developing new energy solutions and empowering communities in the developing world through renewable and sustainable agro-forestry.

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