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Biofuel policy bid

Manasa Kalouniviti
Saturday, December 02, 2017

THE National Biofuel Policy will be a roadmap to expand biofuel production in Fiji, says David Kolitagane, Ministry of Public Enterprise permanent secretary.

"It must also provide an enabling environment for biofuel investment and program implementation in the country," he said.

Mr Kolitagane was addressing participants and stakeholders at the National Biofuel Stakeholder Consultation Workshop at the Holiday Inn Suva yesterday.

He said Fiji displayed its commitment to addressing climate change when prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama recently presided over COP 23 in Bonn, Germany where Fiji launched its National Development Plan 2017 and the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) implementation roadmap.

"Unlike fossil fuel, biofuel is a human resource intensive industry, hence, mature biofuel programs would result in employment opportunities across the biofuel value chain, expanding from rural to urban areas," Mr Kolitagane said.

He said the Pacific region could also benefit from the biofuel testing facility developed at the USP under the biofuel program.

"The Fijian Government has also provided incentives for the biofuel programs such as duty concession for diesel procured for blending; duty free importation of agriculture equipment used for biofuel production and a 10-year tax holiday for biofuel investors," he said.

He told the participants there was a need for a more integrated approach with stakeholders to work together to ensure the successful implementation of the program. Mr Kolitagane urged the government ministries, stakeholders and reps from different institutions to discuss, share knowledge and provide feedbacks on the workshop.

Meanwhile, Deepak Bawari, the senior project manager of Emergent Ventures India and consultant for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, also gave a presentation on the National Biofuel Policy.

He said biofuel production in the country was virtually non-existent except for a few small community mills in the maritime islands.

'Through this workshop, with input from the relevant stakeholders and institutions we hope to develop the draft National Biofuel Policy into what would govern biofuel production in Fiji as laid out in Government's National Development Plan 2017," he said.

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