Mon, 08 Nov 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia should develop and use seaweed as a biofuel since the commodity can be easily produced on a massive scale in the country, a marine resources official said.

"Indonesia should adopt a strategy to develop its seaweed industry to produce biofuel and eventually make it its main fuel," said Soenan H Poernomo, the head of the Marine and Fisheries Ministry`s Data, Statistics and Information Center, said here Friday.

He said seaweed must be developed to become the country`s main fuel because fossil fuel reserves were to deplete while solar energy would be become unreliable because, as a consequence of climate change, tropical countries would have much rain (blocking sunshine).

Moreover, biofuel from plants would compete with food security programs and land on which to grow the plants would be increasingly occupied by human settlements.
"Indonesia is the world`s largest archipelagic country and has the longest coastline in the world," Soenan said.

He said, in the matter of designing an energy development strategy, Indonesia could learn from South Korea which was anticipating the depletion of fossil fuels, by developing seaweed as biofuel for the future.

The Korean Institute of Technology (Kitech), he added, had expressed interest in cooperating with Indonesia in cultivating seaweed as a biofuel in West Sulawesi and Bangka Belitung.

"So far seaweed is mainly being used as a raw material to make certain foods and cosmetics," he said.

Meanwhile, the government was optimistic that Indonesia`s seaweed production will increase from 2.6 million tons in 2010 to 10 million tons in 2014. (*)