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Biofuels Act co-author and former Congressman Herminio G. Teves hasbeen growing jatropha trees on 10,000 hectares of leased hillsides inTamlang Valley, a 24,000-hectare area straddling the municipalities ofValencia, Siaton, and Sta. Catalina in Negros Oriental, since last year. Hisbiodiesel plant is set to start operations in 2009. Jatropha productiongradually increases, said Teves who explained that 2,000 trees perhectare can be planted one year and 4,000 the next. He said jatrophaproduction has opened up jobs for many residents of Tamlang Valley,adding that he offers profit-sharing to employees. He expects to harvest10,000 kilos of seeds per hectare after four years. He said about 3.5 kilosof seeds can produce a liter of oil which is similar to bunker oil. He is nohurry to sell the seeds as a lot of local and foreign investors want to buythem. Teves plans to sell to the more lucrative foreign market. “The PNOCand the oil companies here want to already sign an agreement with me.But I’m not in a hurry because I know there are foreign companies willingto buy,” he said. He added that China and Japan are “very, veryinterested” to buy jatropha to produce biodiesel. Minutes of the bicameralconference committee that fashioned the final version of the Biofuels Actreveal that Teves was apparently eyeing the foreign market even beforethe law was passed.
Lopez-led First Philippines Holdings Corp. is preparing to enter theemerging biofuels business, with subsidiary First Philippine Properties,Inc. forming a new vehicle for plantations and nursery. FWV BiofieldsCorp. has an authorized capital of only P5-M with Rafael M. Alunan III,Rafael M. Abello, Jr., Rodolfo R. Waga, Jr., Aganes le Casabar Oxales,and Esmeraldo C. Amistad as incorporators. FWV Biofields will also carryon agribusiness activities such as nursery operations for plant seedlingsand the cultivation of aquatic resources and mangroves. It plans to raisebetween P2.94-B and P4.91-B from the sale of 50-M preferred shares.First Holdings has investments in power generation and distribution, tollroads, manufacturing, and support industries such as oil pipeline services,construction, and engineering services as well as property development.
In Washington D.C. last March 10, Philippine Forest Corp. (PFC) signed ajatropha production contract with Abundant Biofuels Corp. (ABC), a USfirm engaged in the business of biofuel alternative energy production.Based in Monterey, California, ABC will operate the jatropha productionand refinery business in Bukidnon through its subsidiary Bio-FuelsPhilippines, Inc. Rene Lacsina, president and CEO of Bio-FuelsPhilippines, Inc. signed a $200-M jatropha production contract with thePhilippine Agriculture Development Corp. (PADC). Lacsina recalled PFCbrought him to Negros to join the group of former Cong. Herminio Teves