The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to commence large scale commercial bio-fuel venture as alternative to fossil fuel, Group Managing Director (GMD), Dr Maikanti Baru, has said.
Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja at a two-day Environment Dialogue programme titled `Diversification of the Economy, the Role of Jatropha,’ Baru explained that bio-fuel, as a renewable source of energy, was currently drawing international recognition as alternative choice of fuel because of its Eco-friendliness, socio-economic and climate benefits.
Represented by Mr Babatunde Adeniran, the Corporation’s Group Executive Director, Gas and Power, Baru said the project became necessary due to the increasing negative impact of fossil fuel to the environment.
He explained that the corporation would cultivate jatropha plants along the borders of the over 5,000 kilometers of NNPC pipeline right- of- way across the country.
Jetropha, is an environmental and economic agro-allied plant called Binidazugu in the North, Lapalapa in South West, Okwa Ekpu in the East and it has over 175 species. The plant could be used to produce bio-fuel which could serve as alternative to diesel. It could also serve as wind breakers and shelter belts to curb flooding, desertification and erosion.
The GMD explained that based on its commercial considerations, jatropha ranked second to oil palm as the bio-oil of choice for biodiesel production in the NNPC bio-fuel programme.