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Industrial plants: FG signs N414bn deal with Global Biofuels

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The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Global Biofuels Limited, an indigenous bio-fuel producer, for the

 The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Global Biofuels Limited, an indigenous bio-fuel producer, for the construction of 15 integrated bio-fuel plants in the country.

The bio-fuel plant is estimated to gulp about N414bn.

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Global Biofuels Limited, Dr. Felix Obada, signed on behalf of his company.

The project, which is expected to create 120, 000 direct and 750,000 indirect jobs across the value chain, will link 15 states to cheap bio-fuel generated electricity at 30 megawatts per state.

Construction work on the pilot plant, which will be established in Ekiti State, will commence in the first quarter of this year and is expected to be completed within 12 months.

Similarly, additional plants will be established in 14 other states after the completion of the pilot project.

Some of the states are Ondo, Osun, Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Gombe, Bauchi, Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Plateau.

Speaking during the signing, Aganga said the project had gone through stringent feasibility and market studies.

He added that the ministry would partner other focal ministries and agencies of the federal and state governments to ensure the successful execution of the project.

The minister noted that the project was the culmination of several years of intensive research between Global Biofuels and its collaborators in research institutes in Nigeria, China, Brazil and India.

When completed, the project according to the minister, will have a positive impact on the nation’s economy as well as attract more foreign direct investments into the country.

Aganga said, “The company will commence the implementation of an agro-based industrial activity for the production of ethanol, biomass electric power and food, all from a single industrial complex, using sweet sorghum as raw materials.

“The pilot project is currently established at Ilemeso, Ekiti State. Plant construction is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2012, while mechanical completion, test run and inauguration have been fixed for the last quarter of 2012.

“Following its successful execution, the same project will be replicated in 14 states of the federation, applying similar technology, raw materials and financing structure.

“The work of rejuvenating the real sector of the economy with a strong focus on employment creation, food security, biomass electric power generation, import substitution and economic diversification can thus be said to have become a reality in Nigeria.”

Also, Obada said funds for 70 per cent of the project would be provided by the Chinese government, while the remaining 30 per cent would be sourced from financial institutions.

The institutions are the Nigerian Export Import Bank, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, Africa Finance Corporation, Fond Gari of Togo and First Bank of Nigeria Plc.

He said, “The project is an agro-industrial project, which will use sweet sorghum as raw materials to produce ethanol. Nigeria is signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, which demands that we should blend 90 per cent gasoline with 10 per cent ethanol for transportation.

“Since that Protocol was signed, Nigeria has not done much towards actualising it. However, this is the opportunity for us to make the desired impact.”

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