Nigeria’s Green Fuel Revolution: How Corn and Sugarcane Could Power the Future 

A partnership between NNPC and Niger state paves the way for a cleaner and cheaper fuel alternative

by Motoni Olodun

Nigeria is set to produce cleaner and cheaper fuel from corn and sugarcane, thanks to a landmark partnership between the state-owned oil company and a local government. The project aims to boost the country’s ethanol production capacity, reduce its dependence on imported petrol, and contribute to the global fight against climate change.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) and the Niger state government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a 500 million-litre ethanol plant in the state. The plant will use crops such as maize, sugarcane, and sweet sorghum as feedstock, which will be cultivated on 100,000 hectares of land allocated by the state government.

The MoU also includes a commitment by the NNPC to plant 135 million trees on the same land, demonstrating its dedication to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030 and actively contributing to climate protection efforts. This initiative is expected to generate over 500,000 tons of crops for powering the ethanol plant.

“The MoU with Niger state marks a crucial step in our endeavour to enhance Nigeria’s ethanol production capacity while adhering to sustainable practices,” stated Mele Kyari, Chief Executive Officer of NNPC. “This collaboration aligns with our broader strategy to diversify the country’s energy mix and promote the adoption of environmentally friendly alternatives.”

Nigeria’s foray into ethanol production comes amidst its transition from the highly subsidized petrol regime. The nation is actively exploring Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a viable alternative to petrol, aiming to curb the escalating fuel costs.

Meanwhile, NNPC has also engaged in discussions with the US Grains Council, exploring potential avenues for cooperation in advancing Nigeria’s ethanol production capabilities. The meeting, led by Ryan LeGrand, CEO of the US Grains Council, focused on identifying opportunities to leverage expertise and resources from both parties.

“The US Grains Council is committed to supporting Nigeria’s efforts to expand its ethanol production,” remarked LeGrand. “We are eager to collaborate with NNPC and share our knowledge and expertise to strengthen Nigeria’s position as a key player in the ethanol sector further.”

Ethanol, a grain alcohol derived from agricultural sources, can be blended with gasoline and utilized in conventional motor vehicles at concentrations of up to 10%. Ethanol is considered a cleaner and renewable fuel, as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

The United States is the world’s leading fuel ethanol producer, manufacturing 15.4 billion gallons in 2022. Brazil holds the second-largest production capacity, generating 7.5 billion gallons during the same period.

NNPC’s partnership with Niger State and its exploration of collaboration with the US Grains Council underscores the corporation’s commitment to diversifying Nigeria’s energy landscape, promoting sustainable practices, and positioning the country as a prominent player in the global ethanol market.

The project is expected to create thousands of jobs, boost the local economy, and improve the living standards of the people in Niger State and beyond. It also represents a significant step towards achieving Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030.

Source: Business Day Nigeria

You may also like

white logo new

Energy News Africa Plus is dedicated to illuminating the vast expanses of Africa’s energy industry.

Editors' Picks

Latest Stories

© 2024 Energy News Africa Plus. All Rights Reserved.