The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, said that the company will commence the first large scale commercial bio-fuel venture as an alternative to fossil fuel, Vanguard Reported.

The initiative would cultivate jatropha plants along the borders of the over 5,000km of NNPC pipeline right-of-way across the country and convert the extracted oil from its seeds to biodiesel to fuel engines, according to Punch. Based on its commercial considerations, jatropha ranked second to oil palm as the bio-oil of choice for biodiesel production in the NNPC bio-fuel program.

Jetropha, is an environmental and economic agro-allied plant called Binidazugu in the North, Lapalapa in South West, Okwa Ekpu in the East and it has over 175 species. The plant could be used to produce bio-fuel which could serve as alternative to diesel. It could also serve as wind breakers and shelter belts to curb flooding, desertification and erosion.

Baru stated that bio-fuel, as a renewable source of energy, was currently drawing international recognition as an alternative choice of fuel because of its Eco-friendliness, socio-economic and climate benefits.