Sugar millers urged to invest more in power co-generation

The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) is urging players in the industry to invest more in power co-generation and production of bioethanol from sugarcane amid volatile sugar prices in the world market.

SRA policy and planning manager Rosemarie Gumera said the agency is strengthening its product diversification by encouraging stakeholders to invest more in the manufacture of bioethanol.

Bioethanol is produced using molasses, a by-product of the sugar refining process.

“We need more products from sugarcane that would benefit our farmers so that in case of sudden drop in sugar prices, they would have a fallback industry,” Gumera told reporters.

Gumera said two additional bio-ethanol plants, Cavite Biofuels Producer and Progreen Agricorp Inc. (former Emperador Distillery), would operate next year with over 60 million liters of combined capacity.

Thus, the industry will bring total bio-ethanol production capacity of the existing eight facilities to up to 340 million liters, which is around 50 percent of the mandatory requirement.

Last year, plants had only 282 million liters capacity versus the 522 million-liter demand, allowing oil companies to import much cheaper ethanol compared to locally-produced.

Based on the Department of Energy’s projection, bioethanol requirement for 2017 is around 570 million liters.

Read more here.

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