NNPC, Kebbi partner on 84m-litre biofuel project

Dr. Maikanti Baru (right) and Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State with copies of the signed MoU on NNPC’s 84 million litres per annum fuel-ethanol project…in Abuja, Thursday The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Thursday widened its integrated energy status with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kebbi State Government (KBSG) to build an 84 million-litre per annum fuel-ethanol project. Speaking during the signing of the MoU in Abuja, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said the agreement was for the commencement of practical implementation of the NNPC fuel-ethanol projects in Kalgo and Koko Besse local councils of Kebbi State. Noting that it was a milestone in the Federal Government’s drive to diversify the economy and save the country from the uncertainties of absolute dependence on oil, Baru disclosed that the sugarcane and cassava-fuel ethanol project would include the development of 20,000 hectares of integrated plantation and plant complex. He commended the KBSG’s interest in partnering NNPC to achieve the Federal Government’s mandate on automotive biofuels production in Nigeria, adding: “Today is a watershed in Kebbi State’s prime position as the food basket and feeder of the nation,” a statement by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, quoted him to say. “The MoU 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.” Meanwhile, Baru listed the benefits of the project to include creation of rural wealth, generation of 1,000,000 direct and indirect jobs, co-generation of about 64 megawatts of bio-electricity to power the plant and light up the surrounding communities, effecting reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, production of refined sugar and industrial starch, as well as production of animal feeds. Noting that Kebbi is endowed with a large expanse of arable land, he said that President Muhammadu Buhari “is very passionate about the biofuel industry vision. It is my expectation that the signing of the MoU will open the way for the Federal Government’s economic diversification drive. “Also, it is hoped that this event will send a clear message to other state governments yet to come on board the new agro-allied industrial revolution.” According to Baru, Nigeria has enormous potentials for biofuels for local consumption and export needs, just as NNPC is willing to offer indigenes of the state an opportunity for investment in the project. Earlier, Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, said that the move would transform the NNPC into a full-fledged energy company, adding that the energy sector was evolving, and that Kebbi would do its “utmost best to ensure that the objective of the biofuel project is realised.”

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