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Energy Sources as Industrial Feed Stock

Posted by on 2/20/2004 5:13:50 PM |

Nuclear Energy: Nuclear power is one of the most feasible alternatives to fossil fuels in the developed countries, except for the heavy stigma of its deadly 'association with nuclear weapons and wastes. Such disasters as Three Mile Island (U.S.A.) and Chernobyl (Russia), also attest to the dangers. However, its prospect in Nigeria is as yet a curiosity.

Economic uranium deposits are yet to be established, in the first instance. So far, uranium traces have been found only near Gombe in Gombe State and Ugep in Cross River State. In Sokoto and Ogun states, radioactive phosphate grains occur. However, given the widespread peaceful applications of nuclear technology in agriculture and animal production, medicine, mineral explo- ration and environmental protection, Nigeria is keenly interested in nuclear science and technology

ENERGY SOURCES AS INDUSTRIAL FEED STOCK

Crude oil, natural gas, coal and lignite serve a dual function as fuels and as industrial feedstock. It is therefore pertinent to examine briefly the later applications of fossil fuels in Nigeria. In a typical sense in which oil and gas are used in modern industrial civilisation as source of fuel, food and fibre, Nigeria is developing these down stream aspects of its petroleum industry.

There are three refineries in the country at Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna, with a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day. Having met its domestic fuel needs, Nigeria has made plans to build an export efinery in the country. It was to ensure the availability of basic industrial raw materials that the nation's first petrochemical complex began operation in 1988, when the polypropylene plant which is attached to the Warri refinery was commissioned.

This plant also produces carbon black for the manufacture of tyres and other products. Another plant, which is attached to the Kaduna refinery, produces Linear Alkyl Benzene. The Eleme Petrochemical Complex, which is under construction near Port Harcourt, will supply ethylene and propylene utilising natural gas, used for the manufacture of fertiliser by a company also in Port Harcourt. Coal and lignite are potential raw materials for the chemical industry. Plans are underway to utilise the local coal in the iron and steel industry.


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