Ondo State Govt. Moves To Produce Fuel And Electricity From Cassava

The Ondo State government and the Management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC have reached an agreement to establish a bio-fuel plant that can produce 65 million litres per annum of fuel for Nigeria and its neighboring countries. The plant, which is to be sited in the village community of Okelusi in Ose Local government of Ondo North Senatorial District, will also be used to generate 40 MW of electricity for the various communities in the state.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Ndu Ughamadu, saying that the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, led a delegation from the state to sign the MoU with the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru at the NNPC Towers.
Dr. Baru explained that the project will be jointly funded by NNPC and Foreign Direct Investment while the Ondo state government has agreed to earmark 15,000 hectares of land for the cultivation of the cassava to be used. “Your Excellency, we have already discussed with you and you have agreed to make 15,000 hectares of land available towards the cultivation of this cassava. It will, of course, in the process invite people who are used to farming cassava as well as new entrepreneurs who want to go into that business to participate in the cultivation of the cassava that we are going to use for the production of the fuel ethanol”, he further disclosed.
When completed, the bio-fuel plant will be the first of its kind in Nigeria to produce fuel in such commercial quantity both for domestic use and for export. Bio-fuel plants such as this uses cassava as raw feeds to produce ethanol blended with petrol and used as fuel. One of the benefits of the project, the GMD disclosed, is the production of cassava feedstock could create at least one million direct and indirect jobs. Other benefits, according to Dr. Baru, include reduction of fuel import, reduction of greenhouse gas emission to combat global warming, and boost in the production of animal feeds from by-products of the plant.
The GMD also allayed fears of any possible negative impact of the plant on the supply of cassava-based foods for human consumption, stressing that the cassava that would be used for the biofuel project was a special breed that would not be in competition for human consumption or interfere with the activities of farmers cultivating other breeds of cassava or indeed other crops.
“The benefits of this project to Nigeria and specifically to Ondo State are immense and NNPC is very eager to see it implemented. We are working with the investors who will invest because there are several dimensions to the project,” Dr. Baru said.
Earlier, Governor Akeredolu, had expressed confidence that the biofuel project would take off for the benefit of the people of the state and the country in general.

Posted by Leye Akinmodiro

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