SANTA ROSA, Laguna, Philippines -- Ford Philippines has started production at its new engine plant costing P1.1 billion, which has generated about 100 jobs.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo attended the plant's launch with Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Angelo Reyes, and US acting deputy chief of mission Rick Haynes.
The plant will produce E20 Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV) engines, which use traditional gasoline or a mix that contains up to 20 percent bioethanol fuel.
The engines will be exported to ASEAN markets, such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, and to Africa, said Cherry Ramirez, assistant vice president for corporate and government affairs.
In a statement, Ford said production of FFV engines would reach 105,000 units, worth about P6.5 billion.
Ramirez said that FFV engines are capable of reducing vehicles' carbon emission by up to 60 percent.
Dave Alden, vice president of marketing, sales and service, said: "This new facility will further strengthen the Philippines as a linchpin in our FFV strategy for the ASEAN region."
He said Ford would continue to develop the use of biofuels though the FFV technology.
Ramirez said that once production volume increased, Ford would definitely hire more workers.