Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The federal government will soon insist that a minimum of 10 and 20 per cent of biofuel be added to every litre of petrol and diesel, respectively in petrol stations across the country, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has disclosed.
According to the PPPRA, a national policy on biofuel development, which would provide the incentive for the growth of biofuel consumption in the country was underway and could be passed into law soon.
The policy, the PPPRA said, would ensure that bioethanol and biodiesel, which are blends of petroleum products and agricultural products, are readily available in Nigeria. It said the policy was part of efforts to diversify Nigeria’s energy sources and respect global convention on climate change with the inclusion of alternative clean options.
The Executive Secretary of PPPRA, Mr. Victor Shidok recently said this during a press briefing in Abuja to announce the agency’s planned launch of a national capacity workshop for biofuel. He explained that the workshop would enlighten Nigerians on the benefits of biofuel as part of the country’s energy mix.
The PPPRA, he noted would also provide the pricing guideline and regulations of supply of biofuels in the country when in place.
“Biofuels simply comprise of bioethanol and biodiesel which are blends of petroleum products and agricultural products. Bioethanol E-10 for instance is a blend of 90 per cent gasoline and 10 per cent ethanol, while biodiesel B-20 is a blend of 80 per cent diesel and 20 per cent oil from jathropha, used palm oil,” said Shidok.
He explained that when in operation at a time yet to be announced by the government, the agency would demand that for every litre of petrol sold, 10 per cent of ethanol would be added to it, and 20 per cent of oil from Jathropha or used palm oil to diesel.
Shidok who said the policy was introduced in 2007 but could not be pushed further until now, explained that a lot of research has gone into the process but at no expense to the government but private entities who he stated have shown commitment to helping Nigeria adopt this in her energy mix.
On the benefits Nigeria could derive from including biofuel in her energy mix, Shidok said it would create jobs for the country, support her agricultural development, and generate electricity in communities across the country.
He noted that the country’s challenges with foreign exchange for fuel importations could also be impacted with an expected reduction in the overall volume of petroleum products imported in the country as well as in foreign exchange demands for such importations.
“This harmony will lead to more jobs in the petroleum and agricultural sectors of our economy. A lot more advantages accrue from this new industry which offers an alternative to fossil fuel thus providing cleaner and cheaper energy,” added Shidok.