The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has said it plans to set up an energy renewable plant in Benue State, that will use agro products to generate energy.
Rabiu Suleiman, General Manager in charge of Renewable Energy Division at the NNPC, stated this on Tuesday in Markurdi when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Samuel Ortom at the Government House.
He said the project is going to cost an estimated 300 million dollars and would be financed through joint partnership with foreign partners, adding that the corporation had already secured partners that were ready to support the project.
Suleiman said Government had conceived the idea of diversifying energy generation from existing sources to agricultural products since 2005 but it had been in the pipeline.
The NNPC manager said President Muhammadu Buhari had already taken initiatives to begin the diversification programme and thanked the Benue State Government for providing 20,000 hectares of land for the projects’ take-off, assuring that the land would form part of its equity share of the plant.
Suleiman said the plant, when completed, would boost economic growth and create employment for the people of the state.
He further explained that the land would be used to cultivate sugarcane, cassava and oil palm for the extraction of ethanol as a renewable energy source.
“Apart from ethanol which will be sourced from the agricultural products, we can also make fertilisers and animal feeds from their byproducts,” he said.
He said the Federal Government also identified seven other states for its renewable energy project but said the success of the Benue plant would determine the take-off of the other projects.
Governor Ortom assured the delegation that his administration would provide adequate security to both the expatriate and local staff engaged in the plant.
He also thanked President Buhari for considering Benue as a pilot project of the agricultural renewable programme.