The project will see the co-generation of fuel and power, and comes as part of a wider push to industrialise Nigeria’s agriculture.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Kogi State Government for the development of a cane-fed bioethanol plant.
Kogi is a region about 200km south of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. This MoU represents the first step for the ethanol plant, the next being the formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle to direct the activities of the proposed project.
Along with producing ethanol, the plant will have the capacity to co-generate up to 64MW of power. The group managing director of the NNPC Dr Maikanti Baru said that the plant could also include carbon dioxide recovery facilities. As part of the plant, 35,000 hectares has been envisioned for feedstock crops.
“NNPC is committed to implementing Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contribution 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 in May 2017,” Baru said in a press release.
He added that the plant would qualify for tradeable credits from Clean Development Mechanism Projects, a scheme established under the Kyoto Protocol. For the NNPC, the plant will be an additional source of income and add to the diversity of its portfolio.
The plant is to be built in the Alape Staple Crop Processing Zone, an initiative to increase market links for farmers and strengthen the institutional framework for investment into ‘selected agribusiness clusters’, says the World Bank. This includes support for sugarcane, cassava and palm oil production.
The project would contribute to a few aims for the federal government in Nigeria: industrialising agriculture through the production of biofuels, diversifying the economy and meeting the country’s growing energy demand.