Gavoka supports FSC’s operation for aviation fuel

May 25, 2024 8:19 am

Minister for Tourism Viliame Gavoka supports the initiative for the government to support Fiji Sugar Corporation’s Loan guarantee for the production of ethanol which is known as the sustainable aviation fuel.

Gavoka emphasises the importance of SAF, which will be part of aviation going forward, going hand in hand with the tourism industry.

The Tourism Minister states that indication is that Fiji needs to produce about 3.5 million tons of cane to enable us to produce ethanol at the level that we would require in this country for our aviation.

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He says the production right now is around 1.6 million tons of cane so it is possible, it’s doable, that we can get back to about 3.5 million tons of cane to enable us to produce sufficient ethanol.

The minister says that Fiji should be headed to in the direction of larger ethanol producing countries as SAEF is quite expensive these days.

Gavoka says that with the support from the developed countries at COP28, Fiji can finance SAF production to able to reach the 2050 carbon strategy of Net zero.

He states that Fiji should gear itself up to produce its own SAEF and it will be tragic to waste free stock through FSC and than import fuel for aviation.

Gavoka adds there is an opportunity here with ADB to carry out a feasibility study for both FSC and Fiji on the production of ethanol in Fiji.

“And I’ve also asked them to look at Cassava, because Cassava is also a fuel stock for ethanol. But Honorable Speaker, as I’ve indicated, it could be transformative for Fiji when you go into SAEF production. Cassava is grown everywhere in the country and properly harnessed.”

Gavoka says that tourism is critical for the country and this ethanol should be produced to help our aviation and help our tourism industry.

Hence, he says that the need to strengthen FSC and position it to produce SAEF in the coming years. that tourism today is about $3.3 billion and in the next four years it can be $4.3 billion.