By Harry Awurumibe, Head, Abuja Bureau
The Federal Government is set to explore the Methane deposits which are found in large quantity in the Niger Delta region of the country to produce Methanol which has multiple uses for the benefit of citizens.
This disclosure was made in Abuja today by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onuh while addressing State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“The federal ministry of Science and Technology presented a memo to the FEC that requires the utilization of methanol in our economy. The problem that we have in the Niger Delta where our natural gas is flared and it has created lots of environmental problems for our fellow Nigerians living around those areas where they have continuously flared and it’s a major concern to this administration.
“One way to help us to completely solve this problem of gas flaring is to convert the natural gas into methane, methanol is a liquid that is found virtually in l sector of the economy.
“You can use methanol for transportation, all these racing cars that you find – they out M85, M100 essentially that M is methanol means it’s 85 per cent methanol, 15 per cent gasoline. But for ordinary use, normally the blending will be 15 per cent of methanol so that you don’t have to make any adjustment to your vehicle.
“Then also, methanol can be used to replace diesel in these trucks that we find in our highways because methanol is cheaper and it is environmentally friendly so that all the problems that are associated with the use of diesel, that can be solved by the use of methanol.
“Also, our people in rural areas can use methanol for cooking so that it can replace kerosene because when you use kerosene you have soothes and it creates health problem for you but methanol does not have that, it’s very clean, safe and cheap. It’s one way that we can utilize our gas in our rural areas and it’s going to help us in addressing the issues of deforestation and today we are loosing many of our forest trees because we are using them for domestic energy.
“So methanol will do this and methanol is also used for generating electricity which we can use to power our plants and many other plants that currently used diesel, methanol will be a replacement. This is what the federal executive council has approved and once this is implemented, it will help us to create new businesses particularly micro and small businesses that have the potential to grow into bigger ones.
“It will help in the creation of jobs, and it will also help in the creation of wealth. It will be one of the things that will help us in the fight against poverty” Onuh concluded.