30 May 2006

Vanuatu government to use coconut fuel in its vehicles

3:33 pm on 30 May 2006

Vanuatu's Trade Minister says the government is confident it can sell all the copra being produced in the country and maintain a stable price.

James Bule is also encouraging farmers to replant their aging plantations.

This follows a government announcement that it will run all its vehicles on one hundred percent coconut fuel from next month.

Mr Bule says the country now has the technology to produce coconut oil that can exclusively power motor vehicles and ships.

He says the best way to increase the price of copra is to add value to the product.

"That is why the present government imparts on the bioproducts, one of which is the biofuel. And then on the seventh of next month I'll be launching the official use of biofuels in government vehicles. We're expecting all government ministries and departments will use biofuel 100 percent."

James Bule says they are testing coconut fuel in local markets with the aim of exporting it.

The French-owned local electricity provider UNELCO already uses about 20,000 thousand litres of coconut oil a month.