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Friday, June 20, 2008

Ethanol Project to cost Government F$50 million

The ethanol project should cost the Fiji Government about F$50million, however, regardless of the costs today, it is expected to have good long-term benefits in the days to come.

Ethanol is an alternative fuel which burns more cleaner than normal fuel. Although it may be a new topic of discussion in Fiji, it is not a new thing globally.

It has already been used in States such as Iowa and Minnesota in the U.S.A.

It is also cheaper. Producing ethanol here, could assist with reducing some of our dependence on the rest of the world to meet our fuel and energy needs.

A deal is currently being made between the commercial arm of the NLTB, the Vanua Development Corporation, and the Chinese Government to produce ethanol in Fiji.

The ethanol that is expected to be produced in Fiji will be made from cassava. A massive 500,000 tonnes of cassava is required on a yearly basis to produce 50,000 tonnes of ethanol per year and this equates to about 1,500 tonnes of cassava on a daily basis.

The site of the production plant is still undecided. However, Government’s Department of Energy is looking potential sites at Naitasiri Province on Viti Levu, Fiji.

Another alternative fuel that has not had much development or research in Fiji is solar energy. Wind energy is being developed with the Fiji Electricity Authority opening a wind farm at Butoni, Sigatoka, over the past year.

The Fiji Government provides incentives for businesses that wish to produce alternative forms of energy.

For further information on Government incentives that are in place, please refer to the website of the Fiji Islands Trade and Investment Bureau, www.ftib.org.fj.

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