NNPC, Cross River to set up 14MW oil palm-biodiesel project


The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday said it had commenced a stakeholders’ engagement ahead of the proposed 14 megawatts oil palm-biodiesel project in Cross River State.

The state oil company listed the affected communities to include Iwure, Ojor and Osomba/Akin.

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, who made this known in a statement, said the 26,000-hectare facility was designed to accommodate an oil palm plantation co-located with biodiesel, crude palm oil co-generation plants and other facilities.

Ughamadu explained that officials of the corporation’s Renewable Energy Division had already embarked on the sensitisation campaign across affected communities, providing information on the rationale and projected benefits of the biofuel project in the state.

He said the NNPC Research and Development Division had been engaged for the conduct of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the projects.

According to him, the plant is projected to generate about 14MW of electricity from empty fruit bunches and the residue from oil palms.

Under the arrangement, the oil palm will be processed into fuel grade biodiesel and industrial crude palm oil as by-products, Ughamadu explained.

Ughamadu said the biodiesel would be blended with diesel in a mix of 20 per cent biodiesel and 80 per cent diesel, and sold as B20 in the domestic market, adding that any unutilised biodiesel quantity would be exported to the international market.

The Corporation noted that its biofuel project with the Cross River State Government was in tandem with its drive to develop biofuels in Nigeria through partnerships with core investors and create a low carbon economy that would link the oil and gas industry with the agricultural sector.

It stated that this would also help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change as well as transform the NNPC into an integrated energy company with a diverse portfolio.

Ughamadu further stated that the business model for the Cross River project would involve a Special Purpose Vehicle comprising the NNPC, the state government and the core investor.