Nigerian, Israeli, Belgian Collaboration On Algal Biofuel
April 30, 2012
unle Akogun reports from Nigeria that the federal government of Nigeria is in consultation with a group of companies from Belgium and Israel regarding the possibility of introducing biofuel technology into Nigeria via algae farming.
Executives of Actiview Solutions of Belgium, led by Arie Taitler and Dan Zaum, as well as Univerve Ltd of Israel’s, Ohad Zuckerman, met recently with Nigerian Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, and his Agriculture counterpart, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina regarding the possibility of transforming Nigeria into one of the global suppliers of biofuel, animal feeds and food supplements, produced by the domestic cultivation of algae. The foreign companies are seeking the government’s approval to establish a Microalgae-to-Biofuel Technology Demonstration and Educational Centre in Badagry, in the state of Lagos.
The Centre, according to the foreign experts, would be the basis of establishing commercial microalgae farming as a source of raw materials for biofuels and fishmeal, as well as other algal-based products.
UniVerve’s CEO Zuckerman said the algae to biofuel technology, as is currently being tested in the US and Israel, is “a new technology that can galvanize Nigeria’s agricultural sector in much the same way as the mobile phone technology has driven the nation’s telecommunication sector. The final location of the project, which requires at least 400 hectares of land, will be decided based on specific local conditions of water, soil and climate.”
Managing Director of Actiview Solutions, Taitler, explained that the biofuel technology project was a timely intervention in Nigeria’s bid to upgrade the nation’s economy to rank among the world’s 20 biggest by the year 2020, and position Nigeria as a regional hub for algae cultivation.