The Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Victor Shidok has said that the development of biofuel in the country would help Nigeria broaden its energy mix and reduce over reliance on fossil fuel import.
Shidok who stated this in Abuja at the end of the week amid a press briefing, said government is setting up a policy to drive the development of biofuel to meet the 2020 target of having 10 percent ethanol in fuel consumed in the country.
To this end, he said, the PPPRA is organizing a national capacity building and sensitization workshop on biofuel industry on Wednesday this week in Abuja to enlighten stakeholders on the potentials inherent in biofuel.
According to the authority,he noted that though a national biofuel policy and incentive document to provide enabling environment for biofuel industry to thrive was initiated in 2007, not much has been done to ensure its implementation.
He said the document has now been reviewed and sent to the President for approval.
Shidok clarified that “Biofuel as a source of energy when fully adopted would create employment opportunities, support agricultural development and can as well be used to generate electricity.
“Other benefits biofuel are environmentally friendly, less pollution, cheaper as well as becoming as a source of foreign exchange earner”.
Shidok further explained that biofuel comprise of “bioethanol and biodiesel which are blends of petroleum products and agricultural products. Bioethanol E-10 for instance, is a blend of 90 percent gasoline and 10 percent ethanol, while biodiesel B-20 is a blend of 80 percent diesel and 20 percent oil from jathropha, used palm oil etc.
“This harmony will lead to more jobs creation 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 cleaners and cheaper energy”, he added.
He assured that the increase in the ethanol component of fuel blend would not affect the price of food crops especially the availability of cassava, as government has put in place measures to improve its cultivation.
The Executive Secretary disclosed that the initiative is in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, States and Federal Government ministries and other stakeholders which includes feedstock farmers, blenders, depot owners and potential investors.