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Ethanol Option Seriously Considered By Fiji Govt

Ethanol Option Seriously Considered By Fiji Government

6 August 2008 - Government is seriously considering the option of ethanol to fossil fuel as a measure to addressing the rising cost of fuel, said Director Department of Energy Vilimone Vosarogo.

Mr Vosarogo said government had analyzed numerous case studies and most recently during a tour of China, discovered how ethanol was used as energy source in their daily transport and power generated activities.

" We visited a few cities and town in the continent. They are currently much more advanced in terms of ethanol production and its widespread usage, in their daily transport and power generation activities," he said.

" For example; the first province we visited in China was the province of Guangxi. It had more than 100 Refinery Plants. They are retailing biofuel in their gas stations at ethanol contents of 97% for unleaded and 93% for diesel.

Mr Vosarogo said the Chinese with more advanced ethanol production call it gasohol and diesohol respectively.

" That basically means their whole fuel industry is basically ethanol based. That is due to the numerous ethanol producing facilities the province enjoys," he said.

" Price-wise they retail at the gas stations for FJ$1.33/L, and have not gone up for the past 3 years. It is actually going down due to the increase in locally produced ethanol composition in their fuel mix.

Mr Vosarogo who will be present to Cabinet an Information Paper on Ethanol said that they have learnt that enthanol was a by-product of the economic renaissance during the Mao Era.

" In 1945, China was poorer than Fiji, and they turned the economy around through a resource based economy program, by planting tea, rice, sugarcane and lately cassava. Chairman Mao actually planted rice himself to prove his point," he said.

" Now China's enjoying an economic boom, which drives technological advancement, innovation and integration with agricultural bio-diversification which enables them to delve into these activities with ease when the need arise.

Mr Vosarogo said China had technology which enables them to convert ethanol factory waste to useful resources.

" They call it the waste to wealth technology. Products like fertilizers feedstock, cardboard; fiberboard, paper cups, serviettes, paper plates, writing paper, etc. are some of the products which are derived from these ethanol plants wastes," he said.

"Rubbish dumps or landfills are illegal in China therefore there is a technological demand to recycle all waste to useful products. Even high rise buildings are built on processed waste from cassava stack and ethanol waste briquettes.

ENDS

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