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Philippine Daily Inquirer: Chevron begs off from selling biodiesel

Abigail L. Ho
Mar 07, 2006
LIKE THE COUNTRYS TWO BIGGEST oil firms, Chevron Philippines Inc. (formerly Caltex Philippines Inc.) is not keen on selling pre-blended coco-biodiesel directly from its pumps.
In a position paper submitted to the House of Representatives in late December last year, the company expressed its regret that it can not support pending bills that aims to make mandatory the sale and use of pre-blended coco-biodiesel.
Chevron said more tests had to be conducted on the fuel to make sure that it would not cause damage to the oil firms storage tanks and vehicle engines.
Coco methyl ester (CME), the oil firm said, required special handling procedures to ensure that there would be no bacterial growth in its tanks, which would otherwise affect its products quality.
No tests have been conducted on the long-term effects of CME-blended diesel … on our storage tanks, particularly whether [CME] will increase the rust and corrosion rate of the tanks, Chevron said. Moreover, we are apprehensive that offering CME, a relatively untested product in Philippine conditions, [may] unduly exposes both our retailers and the company to consumer complaints and, worse, legal liability.
The oil firm explained that the long-term effects of CME-blended diesel on vehicles fuel injectors had yet to be determined. Should there be any malfunctions, it had not been made clear who would take the blame: The government, the oil companies or the retailers.
Also, Chevron noted that all the products it sold in its stations had already undergone a battery of tests the world over, allowing the oil firm to guarantee quality and performance.
CME, however, has yet to undergo enough tests to merit an endorsement from the oil firm.
In view of all the foregoing … we regret we cannot support the passage of these measures until our concerns have been addressed, Chevron said.
In an earlier interview, Petron Corp. president and chief executive Khalid Al-Faddagh said the oil firm still had a lot of technical concerns on CME-blended diesel, especially if this would be sold directly from its dispensing pumps.
Also, Pilipinas Shell said that it wanted more tests to be done on CME. One of Shells concerns with regard to selling CME had to do with the stability of the product, according to a company official.

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