Biofuel Workshop to Explore Green Energy Opportunities

By Vientiane Times, July 10th, 2013

Government, industry and non-profit sector representatives will meet today in Vientiane at the national biofuel workshop to discuss the challenges and opportunities of scaling up production and use of biofuels in Laos.

The workshop aims at giving an overview of the current biofuel production and research findings made by the Lao Institute for Renewable Energy (LIRE) and identifying current challenges and opportunities for sustainable biofuel production.

One major goal is to discuss the most suitable approaches and strategies for the stakeholders, and what they can do in order to ensure biofuel development.

The structure of the gathering was confirmed yesterday by LIRE’s Director Mr Saleumphon Vongsakhamphouy while giving an interview to Vientiane Times .

He said the question of how cost-effective, sustainable production be realised in Laos will be central to the workshop.

Mr Saleumphon said as one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, Laos’ demand for energy continues to rise each year and experts estimate that fossil fuel consumption will increase by 6 percent to 10 percent annually.

“Furthermore, the government has stated its objective to have 10 percent of the country’s transportation fuel mix coming from biofuels by 2025.”

“A core point of discussion was LIRE’s current research into the viability of utilising waste vegetable cooking oil as a primary biofuel feedstock.”

The participants of the workshop will be informed in three sessions about various aspects of biofuel research and production in Laos.

Participants are encouraged to swap ideas so that everyone can benefit from the views of the different government ministries and from the knowledge of non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

In the first session, the key research findings of LIRE and their implications for development will be discussed. During the second session various government departments as well as the Lao State Fuel company will present their perspectives on the topic.

The third workshop session will consist of a group discussion. Participants will be split into three sub-groups to develop ideas about what different stakeholders can do to ensure sustainable biofuel development.

In addition to raising awareness, the workshop will stimulate discussion about the technological, ecological and economic challenges of growing a biofuel supply chain in Laos.

Representatives from Lao State Fuel Company, the Energy and Environment Partnership with the Mekong region (EEP) and the Fuels from Agriculture in Communal Technology (FACT) foundation will also present ideas for biofuel research and development.

The workshop is being jointly organised by LIRE, the Institute for Renewable Energy Promotion and the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

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