Nigeria has launched its first organic waste power-generating plant in the University of Nigeria, the first indigenous university in the country, located South East of the country with the aim of cubing power outages which are frequent and random in the country.
The project, which was initiated by the former vice chancellor of the institution, Prof Chinedu Nebo, when he was the minister of power four years ago, was completed and inaugurated by Prof Benjamin Ozumba, the present vice chancellor.
Prof Benjamin Ozumba said that the plant’s aim is to enable the institution to generate its own electricity with organic waste serving as fuel.
“I am happy that under my watch the university has witnessed innovation and transformation. Today, another feather has been added to the cap of my administration. This is the first of its kind in the county – using waste to generate electricity,” Ozumba said.
Organic waste power-generating plant
The plant is a 100 kilo-volt-ampere (kVA) refuse-derived fuel (RDF) gasification plant designed to power the whole campus and nearby communities. The innovation and plant was completed by a group of researchers at the institution, led by Prof Emenike Ejiogu. Ejiogu, an engineer who was trained in Japan, has expertise in electric power devices and systems, as well as new energy systems – wind, solar and fuel-cell energy.
Agricultural by-products such as corn husks and wood chips, among others, are sources of organic waste that could be used as waste materials to power the plant. Power Demand The plant was completed with special grant funding by the university in a step that will help solve the growing cost of unstable electricity in the country.
Ejiogu explained that his research team was set to produce 250kVA plants, which will supply the energy needs of the entire university and nearby communities. The university’s power demand currently is at 3 megawatts.With 12 250kVA of RDF plants, the electricity supply needs of the university will be met.
Experts also voiced in positive remarks about the innovation saying it will help in fighting environmental and noise pollution. The new energy source will help the University save on power bills as well as generate employment for young people in the country because there will be a demand for people to supply these waste products to the university and to others who need it.
“By the time more of these plants are established, covering every part of the university, millions of naira will be saved every month as we will no longer pay monthly electricity bills to the power company,” said Prof Emenike Ejiogu.