(Reuters.) Vietnamese catfish processor and exporter Agifish plans to convert catfish fat into biodiesel. Agifish Deputy Director Nguyen Dinh Huan said that the company had been running trials on the fuel, made from fat left over from processing, to run pumps at its fish ponds in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang in southern Vietnam.
The state-run Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper quoted Ho Xuan Thien, the chief engineer of the project, as saying the firm planned to build a 10,000-tonne-per-year (about 3 million gallons) factory in 2007 to mass produce the fuel for domestic markets.
Thien said a kilogram of catfish fat could produce 1.13 liters of biodiesel. Vietnam produces around 30,000 tonnes of catfish annually, mainly for exports to the United States and Europe.
According to the Energy Information Administration, Vietnam has 600 million barrels of proven oil reserves. Crude oil production averaged 370,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2005, down somewhat from the 403,000 bbl/d level achieved in 2004. Although it is a significant oil producer, Vietnam remains reliant on imports of petroleum products due to a lack of refining capacity. Most of Vietnam’s crude oil is exported to refiners in Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.