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Nigeria partners foreign agencies on renewable energy



Prof Jere Bala, the Director-General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) said the commission had partnered some international agencies for the domestication of new technologies on the development of renewable energy in Nigeria.

Bala said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

He said the foreign agencies were African Energy Commission, International Energy Organisation and International Renewable Energy Agency.

He said the commission had been liaising with the agencies to ensure the development of sustainable energy as well as domestication of new technology best practices in Nigeria and Africa.

The D-G said the partnership was essential as Nigeria would derive benefit of best practices through the agencies new wide quality technology.

Bala said they were able to develop solar energy as source of power in Africa through building of super grinds used in transmitting power tapped from the sun in sub-Sahara African.

Bala said the supper grind on renewable energy was in the North African, the Central African transmission grind and West Africa.

“We have been able to use some of our energy demand and projection studies that we have done in Nigeria to integrate it in the Africa energy demand and supply.

“We worked on the development of biofuel in Africa. We had workshop in 2008 where participants were drawn from African countries to share experiences on development of alternative energy sources in their various countries.’’

He said Nigeria had started integrating some of the alternative energy sources like the penetration of solar energy into energy supply mission in the country.

“A lot of solar street lights, solar mini grind and in fact, small hydro-power are being developed in this country and had been encouraged.’’

He said between 1980s and 90s, renewable energy was nothing to talk about in Nigeria but after 1989, Sokoto Energy Research Centre under the commission developed a mini grind.

Bala said a survey conducted in 1989 had showed that the use of solar energy began with less 300 KW mainly for water pumping and other applications.

“Our estimate was put at about 28 MW of the dispenser solar installation and there are many more plant to be grind connected through the Nigeria/Germany partnership and other private concerns.’’

The D-G said the major sources of energy in Nigeria was petroleum, coal, fuel wood (biomass traditionally energy sources) and largely hydro.

He said through the introduction of the National Energy Policy, Nigeria had been able to diversify the energy source for National Energy Security, to provide the Renewable Energy Master Plan.

He said the master plan would be promoted, using the sun as source of energy and heat, wind for mechanical and electrical energy and biomass for the production of biofuel.

The D-G said the commission had created awareness on renewable energy since its establishment in 1989 and people were aware of an alternative source of energy.

“We will continue to produce these strategic plans and we will need them in a long time if our economy is to grow and to be within the 20 largest economies in the world.

“We have made the study in the commission and it has been ultilised in the vision 20:2020 and also in the production of National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan.

“We will continue to produce this plan until Nigeria becomes energy secured and also derived economic benefits from the energy resources,’’ he said.

Bala said the Jastropha project had been promoted as an alternative source of energy for production of biodiesel and ethonal, adding that Jatropha would not conflict with food security as it was non-edible.

The D-G said production of bio-fuel from the feed stock such as the cellulous had been encouraged because cellulous material like agric-waste was non-feed food stock.

Bala said at the moment, the commercial viable ones were the food feed stock like sugarcane for the production of ethanol and the technology was well developed in Brazil and other developed countries.

“Maize and cassava are also used for the production of ethanol but the non-food crop certainly has sympathy for most of the schools of thought that observed that energy from food crops should be discouraged.’’

Bala said Brazil was able to manage the production of sugar cane adequately for both food consumption and energy purposes.

“If we plan properly, we have the vast land we can produce food crops for both food and energy. It is sustainable; unlike the petroleum, once drilled from the ground, it is gone.’’

Newswatch Times

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners



…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live



The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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