Nigeria invests in new bioethanol plant as it diversifies away from oil

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Nigeria’s state oil corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kebbi State Government (KBSG) to build a bioethanol plant.

The plant is expected to use cassava and sugarcane as a feedstock and produce 84 million litres of ethanol per year, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said in a statement.

The Nigerian government is investing in biofuels as it reduces its dependence on oil and diversifies its economy.

The MoU was signed on 16 November, 2017. Speaking at the signing, Maikanti Baru said the project will involve the development of 20,000 hectares of an integrated plantation and plant complex.

Biofuels production

Baru said: “Let me use this opportunity to convey my sincere appreciation to the Government of Kebbi State on her interest to partner NNPC in achieving the Federal Government’s mandate on automotive biofuels production in Nigeria.

“Today is a watershed in the life of Kebbi State prime position as the food basket and feeder of the nation. The MoU today will move you to the next level of not just a feeder of the nation, but one which also provides fuel for the nation. We hope that very soon, you will invite President Muhammadu Buhari for the ground breaking of the project.”

He said there was a range of benefits to come from the project, including the creating of rural wealth, the generation of 1 million direct and indirect jobs, the co-generation of electricity to power the plant, and the production of animal feeds and refined sugar.

Bari stated that the potential for biofuels in the country and for export “were enormous”.

Elsewhere, Kebbi State Governor Alh Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said the move would transform the NNPC into a fully-fledged energy company.

Alh. Bagudu stated that the energy sector was an evolving one, adding that Kebbi State was thankful for the opportunity to partner with the NNPC on the biofuels project.

“The GMD and top management of the NNPC, we in Kebbi State will do our utmost best to make sure that the objective of the biofuel project is realized,” Bagudu said.