By Grace Udofia
Abuja— The Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF, yesterday, pledged its commitment to sponsor more research on the production of biofuels and biogas from non-edible fruits, in response to the global drive for environment-friendly source of energy.
Acting Executive Secretary of PTDF, Ahmed Galadima, disclosed this at Peer Review programme for the 2014/2015 cycle on annual oil and gas research grant competition.
He explained that efforts were in top gear to have biofuels production on a commercial scale in the next research cycle.
According to him, research teams have done excellent work with their tireless efforts and exceptional display of duty and high sense of professionalism.
He said: “Resources have been committed in this area as this as proved to be the appropriate solution to the challenges of the industry, and am glad to inform you that the result has been positive and encouraging, although more work needs to be done.
“We are determined to improve on our previous achievements as adequate mechanisms have been put in place for the award of the 2015/2016 research grant. These researches are commercially viable and good candidates for patenting.”
Galadima noted that PTDF had put in place actions to file for intellectual property rights and patency at the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.
Six awardees got the grant which was based essentially on transparent selection procedures and processes established by the fund, while two awardees were requested to extend their search to the pilot stage in order to improve the integrity and reliability of the products for possible commercialization.
Also among the six awardees listed, three have shown high prospects of achieving patent certifications.
This is a major milestone achievement in the Fund’s drive to fulfill one of its primary mandates of sponsoring researches of relevance for the benefit of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and the country at large.
On renewable energy and biofuels production, Galadima revealed that the fund planned to establish a National Coordination Centre for Research and Development, NCCRD, on biofuels and other alternative energy sources to be domiciled at the National Institute of Petroleum Policy and Strategy, NIPPS, Kaduna.
Galadima, however, called on International Oil Companies, IOCs, to kindly cooperate with Nigerian researchers by providing them with relevant data, monetary, material assistance and platforms to showcase the products of research for sustainable growth and development on the Nigerian economy.
According to him, it will empower and encourage them to contribute more towards solving specific industry problems and promote spin-off of industries for rapid job creation and knowledge transfer in the country.
The annual oil and gas research grant competition is aimed at fulfilling the mandate of the fund to develop indigenous manpower and domicile oil and gas technology in Nigeria through effective engagement of local researchers in solving petroleum industry problems.