Tuesday, April 27, 2010

[PBN] Biofuel Developments in Fiji - Coconut power on Koro Island

From: The Fiji Sun - 14/03/2010

This was an initiative of the government and the Prime Minister, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, was the chief guest at the opening at Nacamaki village.

The opening on March 10 was a momentous occasion for the people of Koro. People from the 14 villages gathered at Nacamaki Village to witness the opening. They knew the biodiesel plant will bring about changes to the villages.

In his address at the opening, the Prime Minister Commodore Bainimarama stressed the importance of government involvement in rural development to lift people's standard of living.

"The government is focused on changes and reforms to strengthen the Fiji economy," he said.

"This new project will improve living standards for the people of Koro in many ways through education, daily family living and village functions.

"Prices for copra now range from $470 a ton in Koro to $600 ton, which will improve the use of coconut resources for more productive social and economic purposes.

The project cost the government $392,050 and took four months to complete.

Commodore Bainimarama stressed the importance of self-sustainability now that they had development right on their doorstep.

With the opening of the plant the people of Koro are now ready to tackle all difficulties they have been facing for the past years.

Education, family, transportation and all other development will no longer be a hindrance with the new work already in place.

Koro Cooperative Chairman, Tevita Vunileba said difficulties faced in the island had been a problem for many years. However they're lucky to have the first ever bio-diesel mill opened in the island.

Before, the islanders relied on coconut, yaqona and taro for their livelihood and traveled once a week to Suva to sell their products.

With the $400,000 mill, Vunileba added there is nothing as an excuse for the people now that they do not have to travel back to Suva to sell their products.

However, all the 14 villages will sell their coconuts to the Koro Cooperative which will then take it over to the mill.

"We have long been waiting for such development and now that it is here, villagers have to give in all their efforts to rake in more avenues for families and village welfare," he said.

"This is great relief and we are ready to work together to be able to produce for the betterment of our children and communities.

"People now do not have any excuses to lag behind because they have the mill which brings about$500 fortnight revenue to a family.

Assistant Roko, Koro, Saimoni Dobui said they would like to extend their sincere thanks to the government for hearing to their plea they have been waiting for in the past years.

Coconut biodiesel will reduce our dependency on imported fuel, create import substitution revenue, provide employment, has potential to electrify rural areas in a big way, reduce pollutant emissions in our atmosphere and proudly will be produced in the island of Koro.

Coconut biodiesel can change the transportation sector of this country forever, and one of the first impressions motorists will notice about neat biodiesel is the absence of soot (black smoke due to incomplete combustion of fossil fuel) that is pouring on our city roads everyday from vehicle exhausts.

Biodiesel investment would be the most innovative scheme this country can put its money into.

There have been many exhaustive studies done on coconut oil as a biofuel. A paper prepared by an American company gave this short summary:

  • Coconut oil makes an excellent diesel substitute with some criteria
  • It solidifies at approx 25°C
  • It runs best on station plant with constant fixed load of around 75% capacity
  • It runs best with indirect injection systems
  • It operates better at approx 70°C as the viscosity is lower
  • Clean the injector every 150 hours for the first year to determine the level of carbonizing and set up a suitable future regime.
  • A duel tank system works well starting and running the first 15min on petroleum diesel then switching over to coconut oil and end the days work in the reverse manner shutting down fore the last 15mins on petroleum diesel.
  • Preheat the CNO fuel using a heat exchanger running off the cooling system
  • It is NOT successful with Lucas/CAV rotary injector pumps and the more modern engines but older style engines coming out of China and India are much more suited as is gravity feed fuel tanks.
  • Coconut oil has less emissions and toxic fumes than petroleum diesel fuel
  • Coconut oil runs smoother and reduces engine knock
  • Coconut oil is available to the producer in remote areas to run machinery and generate electricity when the roads are cut off in the wet or prices are too high
  • Coconut Oil is a sustainable resource
  • Coconuts can save the nation millions of dollars by replacing much of the diesel fuel imported for cars, trucks and generators.
Source: http://www.fijisun.com.fj/main_page/view.asp?id=35933

Check for earlier Pacific Biofuel posts:

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