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Read the Emirau Case Study

About the company

Emirau is a 100% PNG owned company located in Kavieng which has been utilising small quantities of processed coconut oil as an alternative fuel to diesel for the past 18 months. Emirau wanted to further commercialise its oil production, processing and distribution capacity to meet growing demand from customers including communities, businesses, vehicle and vessel operators and agricultural producers.

Total grant funding approved: ECF A$966,000


About the project

The ECF grant will enable Emirau to establish a processing facility to produce and distribute ten times more engine ready fuel per day. Emirau Marine will work with local communities to enable the purchase of higher quality copra. This will be done through the supply of high quality solar driers to communities which are both more cost effective and environmentally friendly. By products will be used as feedstock and to manufacture soap and copra cake for animal feed. Emirau will also establish coconut tree nurseries to allow rural communities to replace widespread senile plantations.


Results December 2012

  • Construction of the factory was completed and officially opened in March 2011.
  • The plant has a processing capacity of five to six tons of oil per day. In production, Emirau will need over 10,000 coconuts a day providing a significant cash benefit to local growers. The factory is producing coconut oil, virgin oil, rope, soap, cattle cake, vinegar and activated charcoal.
  • The factory currently employs 26 full-time factory workers including two supervisors.
  • Emirau has worked towards improving the supply of coconuts with farmers by providing seedlings for replanting, training on plantation management and monthly cash incentives for farmers who replant the most new coconut trees on their land.
  • Emirau has identified 300–400 farmers in Kavieng province interested in supplying coconuts to Emirau Marine Products. Each has more than 200 coconut trees on their land. A healthy tree provides 60–65 nuts per year. For many, selling coconuts is a way to smooth an erratic cash flow. Most are subsistence farmers, so whenever they need extra cash to pay school fees or to buy an asset, they sell coconuts to access immediate funds.
  • Emirau is actively involved with the Cocoa and Coconut Institute; together they distribute hybrid high-yield coconut seeds to growers. To date they have distributed 4,500 plantation nuts, and are visiting and monitoring each new plantations. Emirau are providing a new species of coconut which has a big kernel and a bigger shell which provides more coconut meat and copra than locally grown varieties.
  • The community had not seen any plantation and/ or replanting programs in the previous 10 years and coconut plantations had become wild and senile.
  • Increased recognition of the benefit of selling coconuts indicated by the new trend of most growers now planting new plantations or rehabilitating old plantations.
  • Emirau is a useful case study for other centres and countries due to the technical and commercial viability of coconut oil fuel production in a smaller regional centre.