The Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has said that the corporation is doing a lot to fast track the development of renewable energy in Nigeria.

Baru reeled out some of these efforts during a lecture he delivered at the 12th Mechanical Engineers Distinguished Lecture (MEDL) organized by the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers held in Abuja on Wednesday.

The GMD spoke on the theme, “Fast-tracking the Paradigm Shift from Fossil Fuel Driven Economy to Renewable Energy: A Call to Nigerian Mechanical Engineers.”

Baru said the corporation’s Renewable Energy Division since its establishment in 2005 had paid rapt attention to developing the nation’s bio-fuels industry to achieve the objectives of environmental sustainability and the nation’s energy diversification and security.

He said the corporation has commenced large scale commercial biofuel venture to complement fossil fuel production adding that it was currently diversifying its product portfolio for enhanced and sustainable energy mix.

He said the corporation has conducted seven site specific bankable feasibility studies.

“Two sugarcane fuel ethanol project in Benue state, sugarcane fuel ethanol project in Kupto-Maleri-Gombe state, Okeluse Cassava fuel ethanol project-Ondo state, Ebenebe Cassava fuel ethanol project-Anambra state and two oil palm biodiesel projects in Cross River state,” he said.

He said the potentials for renewable energy development in Nigeria are enormous because of the country’s vast land for cultivation, a population estimated at over 180 million and an abundance of municipal solid waste.

He said the corporation is open to talks to partnership with academic institutions for the purpose of diversifying the country’s economy.

“We need more mechanical engineers with a technical inclination in renewable energy technology,” he said.

The MEDL series was officially established in 1995 as a means in identifying, recognizing and honouring mechanical engineers who have distinguished themselves in learning and practice of the profession.

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