Kogi, NNPC sign MoU on fuel ethanol plant
…NNPC plans biofuel filling stations for vehicles
By Michael Eboh
The Kogi State Government, Tuesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for the setting up of an ethanol biofuel plant and refinery in Kogi state.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Abuja, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state, said the project would create over two million jobs and help reduce insecurity in the state.
He said, “The takeaway from this particular signing of the MoU between Kogi state and the NNPC is this: one, a lot of job creation in the state. Over two million citizens and residence of Kogi state would have job in the state as a result of this cassava and sugarcane development project that would be feeding the biofuel refinery plant that is coming up in the state.
“That by multiplier effect means that Kogi state would be more secure because the youth would be taken off the streets. Then as a state, we are committed to providing security and enabling environment for this project, to ensure that it is a success and it matures and benefits the good people of the state and Nigeria at large.”
Bello, who stated that the biofuel project would be completed in 36 months, allayed fears that the project would bring about food crisis in the state and the country at large.
According to him, Kogi is currently producing cassava in excess, “We are producing cassava that we could not even consume as a state. Eventually, we would provide enough for the refinery and for consumption in the state.”
Bello disclosed that the state is not investing any of its funds in the project, but would be engaging investors and multinational financial organizations for funding for the development of the projects.
He said, “From Kogi state, there is no financial commitment so far. However, we are approaching the African Development Bank, where we intend to secure their commitment and ensure that we have enough funds to develop infrastructure all around Kogi state for the production of cassava for the project.”
Also speaking, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, stated that the project was part of its plans to expand the use of biofuels across the country, noting that the programme would make use of outgrowers to ensure adequate feedstock for the refinery, as well as for export.
He said, “In addition, we have as part of the programme, we have the outgrowers programme, whereby, beyond the plantations that are meant for the plant, the farmers in the immediate environment would be given advanced seeds and seedlings to go and plant and would be used both by the plant and for export. They are all in tandem.
“Specifically, we can put in up to 10 per cent of biofuels into our normal PMS supply so that normal vehicles could use them. But the focus we have with the level of biofuels that are been generated all over, is to be able to have biofuels filling stations so that those vehicles that are designed to run on biofuels could take 100 per cent biofuels that they need. We have sufficient plans for that.”