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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (NiuFM News, Feb. 4, 2008) - A new NZ$2 million [US$1.5 million] state-of-the-art production plant in Samoa will soon begin turning dried coconut into a bio-fuel substitute for diesel.

Officials are hoping to process about 400 tonnes of dried copra a week and expect to make more than three million litres [792,516 gallons] of fuel annually.

[PIR editor’s note: Pacific Islands Report calculates that, based on an arbitrary weekly consumption of 15 gallons of gas per week per vehicle, Samoa’s targeted production would accommodate the annual needs of some 1,016 vehicles.]

The General Manager of the newly formed Pacific Oil Company, Samau Etuale Sefo, says he expects the drop in use of expensive, imported diesel to help the Samoan economy. (Listen)

The plant will begin operation in April.

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