9 Apr 2008

Pacific Islands Geo-Science Commission says copra will help remote outer islands

9:00 am on 9 April 2008

The Pacific Islands Geo-Science Commission, or SOPAC, says copra will help remote outer islands in the Pacific be less dependent on fuel imports.

Copra can be used to produce body oil, soaps, and oil for bio-fuel purposes.

The senior energy advisor for SOPAC, Jan Cloin says diesel generators can be adapted to run on copra oil.

He says for remote communities that have an abundance of copra, they will be able to rely less on having to wait for fuel to arrive.

"If we give them the opportunity to mill their copra instead of putting it in bags and exporting it to urban centres, then it's there to give them the opportunity to make oil in the villages then they have this fuel readily available. There's many a community that will very often run out of diesel. Not because they can't afford it but just because the transport to and fro is so complicated that they could be out of electricity for four months per year."

Jan Cloin says because of the remoteness of outer-islands and transport costs, they often cannot profit as much from commodity price increases.