22 Jan 2005

Coconut power reduces import dependency, says Vanuatu official

8:24 am on 22 January 2005

Vanuatu's environment department deputy director, Russell Nari, says other Pacific Island nations should utilise coconut oil as a cheaper source of fuel.

About 100 buses and vehicles in Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, are powered at least in part by coconut oil as are similar vehicles in the Marshall Islands.

Mr Nari says coconut oil could help Pacific nations reduce their reliance on imported petrol.

"There's high dependency on imports on different things including fuel. And therefore, the cost of fuel is quite high in a lot of small island states given their isolation and distance from where the fuel is coming from so we're looking at resources available within the island."

Russell Nari says coconut oil is also an environmentally friendly product.

But he says switching to coconut power would mean facing pressure from big oil companies, and having to make sure there are enough coconuts to meet consumer demand.