Illicit auto-LPG shops hamper adoption issues

Fly-by-night conversion stations of auto-liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and mis-information have largely been the culprit behind the aversion Filipinos have for the cleaner and cheaper alternative fuel for public transport.

Department of Energy (DOE) Senior Research Specialist Engr. Loreto Moncada therefore has this to say: have your car’s fuel systems converted at the government accredited auto-LPG stations and you will have no problems.

“If autoLPG were a problem, how come other countries like Japan, the Netherlands and Hongkong have been using the autoLPG and have no issues?” asks Engr. Jorge Vincent Bitoon, another research specialist at the government’s energy regulatory agency.

In its alternative transport fuels and technologies roadmap for the country, the DOE Energy Utilization Management Bureau wants alternative-fueled transport (AFT) vehicles mainstreamed in 2030.

AFTs being prioritized are: electric vehicle, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Compressed Natural Gas, Liquefied Natural Gas and Hybrid electric vehicles while assessment of non-transport energy technologies will be pursued.


The Philippines still uses 33.5 percent of its transport fuels from imported oils, another 10 percent from imported coals, according to the DOE.

The government through the DOE has pushed for the use of LPG as alternative fuel as on a side-by-side comparison, LPG comes out over P10.00 cheaper by the liter and burns clean that there is practically zero tailpipe emissions, DOE experts said.

The DOE brought in Bohol its Seminar on Alternative Fuels and Energy Technologies October 24, to advance the government’s information education campaign on alternative fuels amidst escalating cost of imported fossil fuels and its negative impacts on the environment.

The LPG fuel however is a transition fuel as the country intends to however use its compressed natural gas (CNG) of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) over the cooking fuel, according to Engr. Moncada.

The Philippines accordingly took a portion of the gas supplied for power from its Malampaya fields to test its viability as public transport alternative fuel.

Much of the Malapaya resource is being used to produce power and supply the grid requirements of the country, Engr. Moncada added.

Recently however, the DOE took a small portion of the gas for its pilot CNG and LNG run buses in Metro Manila.

LNG and CGN have proven to be economically viable, DOE said.

And because they are natural gases, they have very low if not zero carbon emissions.

The Philippine has over 5 million carbon emitting vehicles, the largest of them are cars and taxis, motorized tricycles and buses, belching out carbon creating thick fogs in the metropolises and rising up to ruin the ozone layer.

Set for nationwide adoption, the LPG run autos however dipped in popularity due to faulty conversion.

Regular automobiles less than 15 years old need to lose their fuel line systems for the new LPG hoses, containers and be affixed with the computer systems that distribute the gas to the engines.

But owing to the conversion costs, many LPG adopters decide to go to the cheaper fly-by-night shops to save on costs.

These shops use sub-standard hoses, improper fittings. leading to complaints and the spread of misinformation, according to the DOE.

The LPG is a special fuel that is dispensed in liters, obtained from special facilities installed in gasoline stations, according to Engr. Moncada.

As of July 2017, DOE said there have been 125 retail Auto-LPG dispensing stations and 67 garage-based dispensing stations for the 8,415 taxis operating with this alternative fuel, according to Engr Bitoon. (PIA)








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