admin's picture

By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 20) - Solomon Islands yesterday launched its first bio-fuel in front of hundreds of people at the Town Ground trade show in Honiara.

The new product was introduced by Solomon Tropical Product (STP).

Five vehicles took the honor to have their fuel tanks filled with the biodiesel that were produced from coconut.

One of the five vehicles was a new Government hilux owned by the Department of Agriculture.

Two lorries and two buses also have their tanks filled with the new product.

Permanent Secretary of the Department of Commerce, Geoffrey Wickham, who launched the exciting new product, said this was a new initiative for the country.

"I’m pleased to see this thing come into reality and it’s in line with the government’s policy," he said. "It shows that we can sustain fuel using our natural resources. The Government is yet to decide whether to process bio-fuel locally. But this is a new and exciting innovation for the country."

Director of Energy John Kori said such innovation is something the government wants to see.

He said producing our own fuel would reduce the heavy dependency on imported fossil fuels to the country.

Chairman of the National Coconut Week John Vollrath said that the idea was on trial for years.

"This is the first time to be publicly launched," he said.

Mr. Vollrath explained that mixture contains 80 percent coconut oil while the rest are other chemicals.

The bio-diesel will be on sale at SB$5.50 [US$0.78] a liter, [US$2.95 per gallon] compared to approximately SB$7 a liter for imported diesel.

Vollrath urged the Government to encourage and support the production and use of this new product and other products from coconut.

General Manager of Commodities Export Market Authority Moses Pelomo, said farmers should now realize the importance of coconut.

He urged farmers to produce more copra to meet the demand for bio-fuel in the future.

Pelomo said price of copra would definitely rise when the demand for it increases.

September 21, 2006

Solomon Star:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment