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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Jan. 14) - Biodiesel may soon replace fossil fuel on the Aroma Coast as a new deal to start a pilot project on coconut bio-diesel was signed on Friday.

PNG Sustainable Energy Limited (PNGSEL), a subsidiary company of PNG Sustainable Development Program Limited and Aroma Coconut Products Co-operative was signed to pave the way for bio diesel to be produced and sold to vehicles in the Aroma Coast.

PNGSEL chief executive officer Peter Martin said the project would go on for three months in which time they would assess if the project was viable and worth investing money in it.

[PIR editor’s note: The Aroma Coast is located in Papua New Guinea’s Central District.]

He said the project needed commitment from all stakeholders including the provincial and national governments as well as the villagers to survive.

But acting Prime Minister and Minister for Mining, Lands and Physical Planning Dr. Puka Temu said after three months, it was time to say "we (the Government" will fund it and see it grow".

Aroma Coconut Products Cooperative was started by Lama Geno, a staff member of Kokonas Indastri Koporesen who said during the signing ceremony that he made a proposal to PNGSEL as he wanted to "see people have money in their pockets".

He said the project was worth more than PGK100,000 [US$37,000] and more buildings would go up in the project area to produce more high quality coconut diesel.

Mr. Martin said there were plans also to rehabilitate coconut plantations to develop a power station fully operated on coconut bio diesel.

Dr. Temu said the National Government supported any project to develop clean energy and he told Aroma Coconut Products Co-operative and PNGSEL to "let us know if there is anything that needs to be done".

Also present at the signing ceremony were PNGSDPL acting chief executive David Sode, Kokonas Indastri Koporesen managing director Tore Ovasuru, Central Province Governor Alphonse Moroi and his administrator Raphael Yibmaramba, officials from PNGSEL and villagers from the Aromas coastline.

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