Green Energy Society of Nigeria (GESON) Visit to the Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources – Dr Rilwanu Lukman
1. DATE: Tuesday 7th April, 2009
2. VENUE: Office of the Hon Minister of Petroleum Resources, NNPC Towers
3. TIME: 1635 Hrs.
4.1. PRESENT (PETROLEUM RESOURCES):
- Dr Rilwan Lukman, Hon – Minister of Petroleum Resources
- Dr Odein Ajumogobia – Hon Minister of State Petroleum Resources
- Mr Femi Olayisabe – Permanent Secretary, Petroleum Resources
- Dr Muhammed M. Ibrahim – Member Planning Committee, Oil & Gas Sector Reform
4.2. PRESENT (GESON):
- Chief (Dr) J.O Sanusi — Team Lead
- Apostle Hayford I. Alile — Member
- Otunba Solomon A.Oladunni — Member
- Mahey Rafindadi Rasheed — Member
- Hope Yongo (Nexim) — Member
- Prof Shehu Garki Ado (IAR)— Member
- Adeolu O.Odusote (Crownek) — Member
- Dr Felix B.Obada (GBfL) — Member
5.1. The Hon Minister, Dr Rilwan Lukman welcomed GESON members and introduced the members of his team. He apologised on behalf of the Hon Minister of State, Dr Odein Ajumogobia who had to be excused from the meeting to attend to some urgent assignments.
5.2. Chief (Dr) J.O Sanusi thanked the Hon Minister for sparing time out of his very tight schedule to attend to GESON members. He also congratulated the Hon Minister on his recent appointment and gave a brief highlight of the activities of GESON members which include:
- Production of Bio-ethanol
- Production of Bio-diesel
- Production of Electricity from baggase co-generation
- Ensuring food security
- Reduction of Nigeria’s Carbon Footprint
- Mitigating the harmful effects of global warming.
- Carbon and Methane credits
- Introduction of commercial farming culture
- Creation of employment opportunities.
Chief Sanusi then introduced two corporate members of GESON one of whose Biofuels initiatives is presently attracting global attention, namely:
- Global Biofuels Limited
- Crownek Green Energy Limited.
He sought the permission of the Hon Minister for the representatives of the two companies to make their presentation.
5.3. GLOBAL BIOFUELS LIMITED:
5.3.1. In his presentation, the CEO of Global Biofuels Limited Dr Felix B.Obada briefed the meeting about his company’s invention which consists of utilising the sugary stalk of a specially developed variety of sweet sorghum for the sustainable production of fuel ethanol.
5.3.2. Apart from fuel ethanol, Dr Obada informed that his company is also set to produce bio-diesel from Safflower and edible oil from Soya beans. Both of which are short cycle crops required for inter-cropping and/or crop rotation with sweet sorghum
5.3.3. He explained further that baggase from sweet sorghum will be burnt in a co-generation ancillary unit to produce steam and electricity, 80% of which will be sold to the national grid. Wastes from Soya beans and the leaves of sweet sorghum will be composed as animal feed for cattle and fish farming, thereby completing a cycle of an unbroken food chain.
5.3.4. Dr Obada further explained that his company’s initiative, a pilot scheme of which has been successfully implemented in two States of the federation will create 8,000 direct and 50, 000 indirect jobs in every location where the company’s plant/farm is established. The refineries are to be sited within sweet sorghum farms in States lying between Latitudes of 70 and 140 North of the equator. This initiative has been acclaimed world-wide as capable of helping Nigeria resolve the Niger Delta restiveness as well as mitigating the economic meltdown. It is an ingenious and monumental initiative which has become a subject of intensive research by the governments of the USA, China, Brazil and India.
5.3.5. Owing to its global appeal, the project, which has been described as an unprecedented “waste to wealth’’ initiative and whose feedstock is not consumed for food by either humans or animals is in line to receive financial support (equity and loan) from the US, China and India Exim Banks under a tripartite sponsorship arrangement between the Nigerian Exim Bank , the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and the African Biofuels and RENEWABLE Energy Fund (ABREF).
This local initiative is being thus promoted to assume a national as well as regional status with a view to creating a Nigerian-led solution to the global economic meltdown.
5.3.6. End-to-end project development from feasibility studies, to Business plan, Geotechnical studies, Front-end engineering, pilot farm, Out-grower selection, Contractor selection, etc has been successfully implemented under the purview of the Renewable Energy Division of NNPC.
5.3.7. Protocol for carbon credit has been approved by Nigeria’s DNA while that of Methane credit is being jointly developed in collaboration with ABREF
5.4 CROWNEK GREEN ENERGY LIMITED
The representative of Crownek, Mr Adeolu Odusote dwelt on his company’s research breakthrough which aims at increasing the yield of cassava by approximately 400% over the next 4years. He also revealed that another variety of sugar-rich cassava is presently being developed in collaboration with China and will be used for the production of fuel ethanol. He said cassava will be cultivated in large quantities such that its use for ethanol production will have minimum effect on the food chain.
To re-cap and present GESON prayers, the team leader, Chief Sanusi thanked the Hon Minister for his time and attention and respectfully urged him to look at certain outstanding issues, already addressed and gazetted by government but which continue to stall the implementation of Renewable Energy projects in Nigeria, namely:
- Off-take guarantee by NNPC
- Equity participation by NNPC.
5.6. MINISTER’S RESPONSE:
5.6.1. Responding, the Hon Minister commended the efforts of GESON members, and in particular Global Biofuels for developing such a unique initiative which, if properly implemented can make a positive impact in the lives of Nigerians.
5.6.2. Concerning equity participation by NNPC, The Hon Minister said he saw nothing wrong in NNPC investing in potentially profitable ventures such as the two presented. He said it will be unwise for NNPC not to invest in them. He informed that it is for this purpose that an entire division was created within NNPC to handle all matters relating to renewable energy.
5.6.3. On off-take guarantee by NNPC, the Hon Minister opined that as long as subsidy is not an issue, he saw nothing wrong in NNPC or other marketers agreeing on Off-take guarantees with any serious Promoter. He revealed that government is presently moving away from the old regime of subsidies. He however compared the Renewable Energy business with the LNG project and threw his weight behind those Promoters seeking Off-take guarantee. According to him, buyers were already secured for LNG projects long before the project left the drawing board.
After he was assured by Dr Mohammed Ibrahim that a blending plant is not a very expensive infrastructure and that each oil marketer is capable of providing his/her own, the Hon Minister directed that a meeting of all stakeholders be convened with a view to sensitising them to the need to agree a framework on how Nigeria will comply with the provisions of the Kyoto protocol of E10 which the Federal government of Nigeria has since ratified.
He Directed Dr Ibrahim to ensure that the stakeholders meeting is convened as soon as possible. The Hon Minister reiterated that the Kyoto protocol, backed up with appropriate legislation will guarantee the rapid development and profitability of the Renewable Energy sector.
The Hon Minister thanked his guests and brought the meeting to a close at 1725hours.