As part of efforts by the Federal Government to diversify the nation’s economy, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has concluded plans to establish an energy renewable plant in Benue State using agricultural products
NNPC”s Group General Manager of Renewable Energy Division, Rabiu Suleiman, revealed this yesterday during a visit to the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, in the state capital.
He said the project would be financed through a joint venture with foreign partners and would gulp about $300 million, adding that the corporation had already secured technical partners.
According to Suleiman, the plant, when completed, would boost economic growth of the state and create employment, even as the land would be used for the cultivation of sugarcane, cassava, and palm kernel from where ethanol would be extracted as a renewable energy source.
He noted that the decision to diversify energy generation from existing sources to agricultural products was conceived by the Federal Government in 2005 and has since been in the pipeline.
While also disclosing that the Federal Government had discovered crude oil in the Chad and Benue valley, Suleiman noted that seven other states have been tipped for this renewable energy project, explaining that the success of the Benue plant would determine the take-off of the others.
The NNPC boss commended the Benue State government for providing 20,000 hectares of land for the project’s take-off, assuring of the state’s equity share in the project.
Governor Samuel Ortom in his remarks, praised President Muhammadu Buhari for chosing Benue for the pilot project while also assuring the NNPC delegation that his administration would provide adequate security to both the expatriate and Nigerian workers engaged in the plant.