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By Peter Korugl

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 2) - Provincial governments in Momase have given the green light to Madang to go ahead with the construction of the first bio-diesel processing plant in Papua New Guinea.

[PIR editor’s note: Madang province is located on the central north coast of Papua New Guinea’s mainland peninsula. The Momase region comprises the provinces of Morobe, Madang, and Sepik—all on the north coast of the mainland peninsula.]

This follows an endorsement by the Momase Governors Council for the proposal by the Madang provincial government.

The council at its meeting in Madang last week also resolved that the National Government assist the Madang government with funds to set up the plant.

Chairman of the council and Morobe Governor Luther Wenge told The National that they supported the project because it would provide markets for copra growers in Madang as well as provide an alternative source of fuel for use by the people at a cheaper price.

Production of bio-diesel is not new, as other oils have been used to produce bio-diesel in the United States to reduce the cost of fuel in powering vehicles, generators and ships.

The use of bio-diesel is a cleaner concept compared to fossil fuel and the Madang government has been working with the University of Technology over the last two years on the project.

The provincial government said it provided PGK95,790 [US$34,000] over the past two years and earmarked PGK70,000 [US$24,000] for the construction of the plant this year.

Two local level governments, Ambenob and Karkar, have also allocated funds in their budgets towards the project and were waiting for the design and construction of the plant to be completed.

Discussions were successfully held with the Cocoa Coconut Institute and the Kokonas Indastri Koporesen to get the project off the ground.

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