By Etuka Sunday
The recent agreement signed between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Kogi State Government for the development of fuel-ethanol processing plant that would produce 84 million litres of bio-fuel per year is also expected to create two million jobs.
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the project would yield a cane mill and a raw and refined Sugar Plant of 126,000 tonnes annually.
He stated that the Bagasse co-generation Plant would also generate 64 Megawatts of power, stressing that the plant would include a carbon dioxide recovery and bottling plant with capacity of 2,000 tonnes per year.
“The Sugarcane Feedstock Plantation would be on a 19,000 hectares and it would produce animal feeds of 63,000 tonnes per year.
Dr. Baru said NNPC was pleased to know of another opportunity in theAlape Staple Crop Processing Zone (SCPZ), in Kogi State which is a vast Agro Allied business opportunity that provides suitable agronomics for the cultivation of Sugarcane, Cassava and Oil Palm.
He stated that discussions had been held with the various parties and stakeholders on the Kogi Biofuels Project on the modality for the implementation, adding that Agreements had been reached on the first stage of the project, starting with the signing of an MoU.
Dr. Baru said the signing of the MoU would lead to the formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to steer the future activities of the proposed project, stressing that the project is central to the attainment of economic development on the basis of value-added investment portfolios, environmental sustainability, climate change mitigation, wealth and job creation to reduce the poverty index, while balancing the ecosystem, and maintenance of national and global security.
NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu in a statement quoted the GMD to have said that the execution of the MoU was a milestone in the Government’s determination to diversify the economy and at the same time compliment Nigeria’s effort in meeting with the growing energy demand.
He said: “NNPC is committed to implementing Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement aimed at combating global Climate Change, to which President Muhammadu Buhari signed, and deposited Nigeria’s “Instrument of Ratification” to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in May 2017.”
The NNPC helmsman stated that theRenewable Energy Division of NNPC was created in line with Federal Government’s directive with the sole aim of Industrialising Agriculture in Nigeria through the commercial production of biofuels from selected energy crops as feedstock, while fostering the exploitation of other Renewable Energy Sources.
He added that the project would mitigate against the negative effect of climate change and earn Nigeria Carbon credits from Clean Development Mechanism Projects activities, serving as additional line of profitable business for NNPC, including food production and power generation.
Dr. Baru noted that the project would lead to increased diversification of NNPC’s business portfolio and serve as a credible source of additional income for the corporation.
The GMD envisaged that the proposed NNPC Biofuels project in Kaba/Bunu, Kogi State would be an integrated feedstock plantation and process plants complex on a land mass of 20,000 hectares for sugarcane and or 15,000 hectares for cassava with potentials for further expansion.
Dr. Baru explained that NNPC had carried out seven bankable feasibility studies which include three (3) integrated sugarcane fuel ethanol projects in Benue, Kebbi and Gombe States, two (2) integrated cassava fuel ethanol projects in Ondo and Anambra States and two (2) integrated oil palm biodiesel projects in Rivers and Cross River States.
In his remarks, Kogi State Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello, said the MoU was another milestone in the history of the state, stressing that the project would take not fewer than two million citizens of the state out of the street.
He applauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the GMD, Dr. Baru, for their doggedness to diversify the Nigerian economy, adding that the state was ready to provide all the needed support for the take-off of the project.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the signing of the agreement between the Governor and the GMD of NNPC.