Indonesia To Invest $20 Billion For Biofuel Development

Indonesia's energy minister said Aug. 3 the country had targeted six million hectares ( 14, 826 million acres) to develop its biofuel industry in efforts to remedy the country's reliance on oil. Indonesia's energy and mineral resources minister, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, said the land allotment would see investments in biofuel projects amount to $20 billion.

The biofuel projects were expected to include "both domestic and overseas" firms, he added.

Purnomo in July announced plans to build 11 biodiesel plants to produce 26,000 tons of the fuel per year to ease reliance on gasoline.

Indonesia is Southeast Asia's only member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries but is now a net oil importer. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has ordered his government to increase production and promote the use of biofuels. Ministers have been asked to develop plans to significantly increase their use of biofuels, derived from plants such as coconuts, sugarcane and castor oil, by 2010.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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