By Franklin Alli
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) may soon go in search of investors to fund biogas energy projects to aid operations of its members across the country.
Bio-gas is electricity generated from human excreta, animal dung, poultry droppings, sewage sludge, etc. Some of the benefits of investing in the projects are that the energy can be transformed to the grid or used for thermal energy. It is environmentally friendly, there is no waste generated and as a result reduce global warming.
A reliable source informed Vanguard that MAN is becoming adept at attracting investors to its IPP projects (electricity, wind), citing for instance, the recently signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with West Pac Petroleum Incorporation of California, United States, for the generation and distribution of 2,000 megawatts (mW) of electricity for industries.
The source said that following the just held â€˜Waste to Energy Roundtableâ€™ organised by MAN and Rosebank Consulting Limited, the Association may take a step further by looking for investors that can build and sell biogas energy to the manufacturers in designated industrial clusters.
This, according to the source, explains why MAN and Rosebank invited a bio-gas consultant from India, Engr. Jayesh Tewar, to the country to share best practice experience of enterprises in India generating energy from the bio-degradable waste.
During the forum, Jayesh Tewar, CEO of JB Enterprises, India, told the participants that since 1995, his company has been actively involved in setting up several biogas plants in India for commercial and household usage. â€œThe Indian scenario of biogas generation can be replicated here in Nigeria,â€ he said.
He affirmed that investment in biogas will help to solve the countryâ€™s energy problems and the ever increasing cost of energy which gives rise to high cost of production and manufacturing in the country.
He asserted that Nigeria can be at the forefront in the production of biogas, stressing â€œNigeria has a population of 150 million people, and the raw materials are abundant in the country as biogas can be generated from various types of waste: human excreta, sewage sludge, poultry droppings, animal dung, kitchen waste(vegetables), cocoa processing waste, agric waste, vegetable oil mill waste, flour mill waste, including food processing waste, breweries, spent wash from sugar mill ,etc.â€
On projects cost and economic benefits, he noted: â€œBiogas generation data showed that 1 metric tonne poultry farm waste will be need to produce 1 mega watt of electricity, 1 metric tonne of human excreta equals 4 m3 biogas, 1 metric tonne of green waste equals 60 m3 bio gas and about 0.06 m3 may be generated from 1 kg of cow. dung at 28 degree centigrade, 500 m3 of biogas is required to produce 1 mega watt of electricity, and land area required for such biomethanation plants is around two acres.â€
â€œBiogas is booming in the renewable energy sector with an average growth rate of 30 per cent annually and investment leapt to about $100 billion in the year 2006,â€ he said.
Chairman, Nigeria Breweries Plc, Chief Kola Jamodu, who chaired the event, noted that over the years manufacturers have continued to bemoan the adverse effect of the persistents irregular supply of electricity on their operations.
â€œThe manufacturing sector especially has been at the receiving end of this crisis.Â The performance and contribution of the sector has been on a continuous decline due mainly to the problems associated with energy supply.Â Most of the manufacturers operate on generators or gas plants with huge amounts expended on diesel and gas.Â The effects of this on the bottom line and competitiveness of their products is obvious,â€ he said.