The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is set to conclude on the choice of a core investor for the proposed Bio-fuel plant in Agasha Guma area of Benue State.
Speaking at the end of a follow-up meeting with a Benue State delegation led by Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said that arrangements have been finalized to name the prospective investor in the weeks ahead after a painstaking due diligence exercise.
The NNPC boss who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer in Charge of Ventures Directorate, Dr. Babatunde Adeniran, explained that the core investor would provide 70 per cent of the required funding for the project, while Benue State government and the NNPC would take up the balance equity contribution.
The NNPC said upon completion, the plant was projected to generate about one million direct and indirect jobs for the populace noting that the project would help link the energy sector with the agric. sector through the commercial production of biofuels from selected energy crops.
Other components of the project include a sugar cane feedstock plantation of about 20,000 hectares; a cane mill and raw/refined sugar plant capable of producing 126,000 tonnes annually as well as a fuel-ethanol processing plant with production capacity of 84 million litres annually.
The bio-fuels projects will also help to establish the Bio-gas cogeneration power plant which will generate 64 MW; a carbon dioxide recovery and bottling plant that will produce 2, 000 tonnes annually as well as an animal feed plant that will produce 63, 000 tons annually.
Commending NNPC on the strides so far recorded, Engr. Abounu said that Benue State was offering the 20, 000 hectares of irrigable land space along the bank of the river Benue as its equity contribution to the project in addition to a yet to be specified tranche of funds to shore up its stake to the level of directorship in the yet to be constituted board.
The Benue State deputy governor also assured that the state had since taken concrete measures to sensitize the host communities not only in respect of the bio-fuel project, but also for the ongoing effort by the Corporation for fresh hydrocarbon find in the Benue trough.
In a related development, the Renewable Energy Division of the NNPC is set for a 2-Day Workshop on Climate Action in the Oil and Gas Sector in response to the need for knowledge sharing on the necessary policy actions, plans and strategies to be taken on the subject.
According to Mr. Kallamu Abdullahi, the Group General Manager in charge of the RED, the workshop, the 3rd in the series, will bring together policy makers, the executives, industry players, regulators, financiers and other relevant stakeholders to make presentations and stimulate ideas on the various aspects of the discourse.
Minister of Environment, the National Designated Authority (DNA), Chairmen, Senate and House Committees on Environment, representatives of World Bank, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, Civil Society Organizations, Captains of Industry are all expected to grace the occasion. .