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NNPC picks Benue for $300m agro-energy project

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Sweethoney
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PostSweethoney on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 9:17 pm



NNPC Headquarters

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to establish an energy renewable plant in Benue State using agricultural products as part of efforts by the Federal Government to diversify the nation’s economy.

The corporation’s Group General Manager in charge of Renewable Energy Division, Rabiu Suleiman, dropped the hint yesterday during a courtesy call on Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, in Makurdi.

He said the project, which is to gulp about $300 million, would be financed through a joint venture with foreign partners.

Suleiman further revealed that the corporation had already secured technical partners.

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.

Suleiman commended the Benue State government for providing 20,000 hectares of land for the project’s take-off, assuring that its equity share in the project.

According to the NNPC chief, the plant, when completed, would boost economic growth and create employment for the people of the state, 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.

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.

He stressed that the success of the Benue plant would determine the take-off of the others.

In his remarks, Governor Ortom assured the NNPC delegation that his administration would provide adequate security to both the expatriate and Nigerian workers engaged in the plant.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for considering the state for the pilot project.

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