LT Group’s open bioethanol plant in Batangas, Philippines.

LT Group’s Absolut Distillers opens bioethanol plant in Batangas, Philippines.

LT Group, Inc. has built up its investments in renewable energy with the opening of a bioethanol facility with a production capacity of 3 million liters per month. In a disclosure to the stock exchange, the company said the plant in Lian, Batangas under its unit Absolut Distillers, Inc. (ADI) is a “multi-million investment project” that has already drawn Seaoil Philippines and Flying V as customers.

The facility is ADI’s third project in renewable energy after the launch early this year of a 2-megawatt solar power generator in Batangas. Its first project was a biogas plant in the 1990s.

Gerardo Tee, ADI’s chief operating officer and the group’s head of distillery operations, said the blueprint for the project was drafted even before the passage of the Biofuels Act of 2006.

“We only waited for the right time. Finally, well-defined rules were integrated to the implementing rules and regulations of the law, so we think now is the time to begin the operations of the facility,” Mr. Tee said.

Ethanol is derived from farm crops such as sugar and is blended in gasoline as required by the biofuels law. To comply with the 10% blend, companies import their ethanol requirements. The Department of Energy (DoE) has ordered oil companies to acquire ethanol from local producers, before making any importations.

ADI was established in 1990 under Absolut Chemicals Inc., which was engaged in the manufacture of ethyl alcohol and liquefied carbon dioxide as fermentation by-products used for producing soft drinks, among others.  In the first half of 2015, LT Group, the holding company of tycoon Lucio Tan, grew its net income by 65 percent to P3.57 billion.

Sugarcane fields are abundant in all towns of Batangas, and sugar is a major industry in the province. Batangas is the southwestern part of the big island of Luzon in the Philippines. It has 31 municipalities and three cities.