Fiji encourages investment in biofuels

By Erin Voegele | September 12, 2011

The government of Fiji is working to encourage investment in its local biofuel industry. According to information released by the country’s Ministry of Information this month, there are many opportunities for investments in renewable energy within Fiji, especially in the biofuels sector.

According to Peceli Nakavulevu , the acting director of Fiji’s Department of Energy, his country is currently producing only 1.5 million liters (400,000 gallons) of biofuel, but needs to increase production to 60 million liters. Pranil Singh, a Fiji biofuel engineer, added that his nation’s transportation industry requires 300 million liters of fuel per year. “Those potential investors in biofuel could capitalize on this enormous opportunity because over time Fiji will have to go 100 percent on nonfossil fuel,” Singh said.

Information released by the Fiji Ministry of Information also states that these needed production levels clearly demonstrate that the country has a huge potential demand for biofuels, and the Department of Energy is working diligently to help encourage investment in the sector. “Government has been very accommodating through the cabinet approval of the biofuel standards,” Nakavulevu said. “At the moment the biofuel use is still voluntary and the Department of Energy is working with oil companies to mandate the use of biofuel in the country.” Singh added that the initial requirements would likely require the use of 5 percent biofuel in diesel and 10 percent in gasoline.

According to the Ministry of Information, Fiji has already capitalized on biofuel production from coconuts by setting up Biofuel Mills on Koro Island in the Lomaiviti providence. That facility began operations in March 2010.

An Energy Policy document published to the Ministry of Information’s website states that agricultural, forestry and agro-forestry products, byproducts and residues could be used as feedstocks for biofuel production in Fiji. The policy document also clarifies that the government of Fiji is targeting the use of sugar and coconut as feedstocks for biofuel production. In addition to serving the transportation market, the government noted that dedicated biofuel-based electricity production is also a larger scale option for the sector. 


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