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Nigeria set for methanol fuel production

Joy Obakeye

Nigeria is set to commence the production of methanol, to be blended with gasoline for the generation of electrical power, if the report of the Technical Committee (TC) on Methanol Fuel Technology Implementation programme set up by the federal government August 10, 2018 is anything to go by.

The programme targets a 15 per cent of methanol to 85 per cent of fossil fuel blend in the production of petroleum motor spirit (PMS) and its utilization in the generation of electric power in Nigeria.

Presenting the committee’s report at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) in Lagos, the minister of science and technology,

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed that the report will serve as a technical guide for further inputs from stakeholders towards implementing methanol fuel technology in the transportation and energy sectors in the country before the end of the second quarter of 2019.

Onu stated that the federal government in the next few weeks expects members of the TC working in collaboration with the stakeholders to make it a reality,

the implementation of methanol and gasoline alternative blends starting with blends of up to 15% methanol which requires virtually no modification to the existing car infrastructure.

“In the next few weeks, I expect members of the technical committee working in collaboration with the stakeholders to make it a reality,

the implementation of methanol and gasoline alternative blends starting with blends of up to 15per cent methanol which requires virtually no modification to the existing car infrastructure.

“A full conversion of diesel vehicles to 100 per cent methanol, utilization of methanol for generation of electricity in power plants to lower costs, while staying within the requirements of clean air international laws”, Onu stressed.

According the minister, government expects the committee to see to the construction of a local methanol production facility to encourage the development of a natural gas-based industry and ensure consultation with various technology owners and providers based on the Executive Order No.5.

This is in addition to ensuring the use of methanol as a blend with gasoline in order to reduce cost that is more environmentally friendly than the use of either gasoline or diesel fuel for transportation.

Government expects that this will help reduce gas flaring in the country as the natural gas will be used for methanol production and not overlooking the fact methanol is equally a feedstock in the production of many important industrial chemicals.

“As we all know, Nigeria holds the largest natural gas reserves on the African continent, ranked as 9th in the world in 2016 and is among the world’s top five exporters of liquefied natural gas.

The country’s oil and natural gas industry typically accounts for 75 per cent of government revenue and 90 per cent of total export earnings.

“It is important to point out that the methanol fuel technology implementation programme would eliminate the problem of gas flaring. This technology will help add value to the huge natural gas resources of the nation”, Onu assured.

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