Word Impact Renewable Energy (WIRE), a biogas firm, said it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with pig farmers at Oke Aro, a Lagos suburb, to use animal waste generated on the farm estate for between 3MW to 10MW electricity generation and is now offering investors willing to partner with it a stake in the business.
Abiodun Timilehin, CEO of WIRE, told BusinessDay that the project is still at the planning phase, and the company is open to potential investors, technical partnership and Public Private Partnership (PPP) after identifying the huge potential in the project.
Timilehin also said potential manufacturers of bio digesters and biogas plants have been identified for partnership.
“We hope to get a PPP with government, that will drive our project to execution. With the right partnership, we can cooperate to form a win win situation,” said Timilehin, a Physicis graduate of the, Lagos State University ,Ojo.
Convincing the farmers to sign was a herculean task. “You can imagine what it must have cost an entrepreneur to convince a farm as large as that to sign a paper. Lots of mails and letters to government and non governmental agencies, travelling, research, setting a structure for the company and other activities all come at a high cost,”
But Timilehin said it was worth it. “We are motivated by a desire to add value and help to develop the society through renewable energy.”
Oke Aro pig farm estate is located at Oke Aro which is on a boundary between Lagos and Ogun State. The pig farm estate houses over 200,000 pigs in a cluster with over 1000 registered farmers.
According to a study by Green Power Utility International, DVO digesters and Huamei Green Holding International, animal dung on the farm can be converted to generate up to 3 -10MW electricity.
“The process of converting animal dung to energy is a proven technique practiced in developed and developing countries all over the world whereby degradable materials are trapped in an Anaerobic condition (Anaerobic Digester) to produce biogas which fires a biogas power plant,” explains Timilehin.
According to the company, the benefits of the project are enormous. Estimated to generate between 3 and 10 MW from animal waste, the biofuel project could provide constant electricity to more than 1000 households.
The company further said that by-products from the process is organic fertilizer which dent fertilizer insufficiency in the country.
Though the government says it seeks to diversify energy generation, little attention has been paid to biomass.
“Not even 1KW of power has been generated to the national grid from biomass this is due to over reliance on crude oil and solar as an alternative,” Timilehin said.
The company says it hopes that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) can look into the biofuel sector and has reached out to the organisation.
“We hope that the government can look at giving rebate on tax and import duties for Biomass technologies and improve on policies that would encourage investment in the biofuel sector.
Timilehin said it’s time the Nigerian Government paid more attention to the biofuel sector to show investors the potentials of the sector.