The management of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has reiterated its commitment to establish biofuel plants across the country as call intensifies for an alternative source of electricity.
Dr Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC said this in Abuja at the 12th edition of the Mechanical Engineers Distinguished Lecture where he was a distinguished lecturer.
Baru, whose lecture dwelt on “fast tracking the paradigm shift from fossil fuel driven economy to renewable energy” said the corporation had intensified work to ensure that biofuel plants were established in the country to boost electricity supply in the country.
“NNPC has commenced large scale commercial biofuel venture to compliment fossil fuel production.
“As one of the key business areas, NNPC is currently diversifying its products portfolio for enhanced and sustainable energy mix by integrating biofuel production from selected energy crops with a robust agricultural development programme.
“The biofuel project became necessary due to the increasing negative impact of fossil fuel to the environment.
“Additionally, the corporation will cultivate Jatropha plants along the borders of over 5,000 kilometres of NNPC pipeline right-of-way across the country.
“This energy crop could be used to produce biofuel to complement diesel supply; its by-product could be used for several other uses including glycerin,” Baru said.
According to Baru, NNPC has conducted seven site specific bankable feasibility studies aimed at fast-tracking the diversification from fossil fuel.
He listed the plants to include two sugarcane fuel-ethanol projects in Agasha-Guma and Buruku, Benue State and another in Okelusa, Gombe State.
Others are the cassava fuel-ethanol plant in Ondo and Anambra States as well as the two oil palm biodiesel projects in Cross River State.
A former Minister of Aviation, Ambassador Bunu Sheriff Musa who was a guest at the lecture commended the NNPC GMD for his exploits in the oil industry, noting that the real sector needed people like him to progress.
He said that the exploits of Baru in NNPC was a justification that engineers were capable of transforming the country.
Several awards were given to the NNPC GMD at the programme in recognition of his contributions to the development of the Nigerian economy, especially in the oil and engineering profession.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the plants when established will among other things create millions of jobs for Nigerians through the production of cassava feedstock.
It will also ensure unimpeded supply of petroleum products and safeguard the environment with reduction in carbon emission necessitated by burning of firewood.