In a significant step towards bolstering Nigeria’s ethanol production capacity and aligning with sustainability principles, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Niger state government.
This agreement paves the way for establishing a 500 million-litre ethanol plant, alongside cultivating maize, sugarcane, and sweet sorghum on 100,000 hectares of land within the state.
The MoU also entails the NNPC’s commitment to planting 135 million trees on the allocated 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.”
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. 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%.
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.