Unicane Industries Limited has announced the completion of the second phase of its plant extension, making it the largest ethanol producer on the continent.
Unicane, a manufacturer of ethanol in Lokoja, Kogi State, made the announcement in a statement made available to our correspondent on Tuesday.
The company stated that the expansion of the plant would boost national sufficiency in the production and export of Extra Neutral Alcohol.
The plant, completed on schedule by the second quarter of 2020 amidst the heavy impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown, boosted daily production to about 420,000 litres with an annual capacity of 140 million litres, comparable to the highest international standards, the company said.
Unicane’s Executive Director, Uzor Kalu, said the company’s production levels had exceeded national consumption and thus erased the need for ethanol imports. He added that it would also make Nigeria an exporter to other African countries.
Kalu said, “It is indisputable that the Unicane group has continuously led and defined the ethanol industry in the country through the investment of billions of Naira in plant and machinery capacity.
Kalu noted that the company had acquired land in Jamata, a fringe village close to Lokoja and set up a standard 420,000 LPD cassava fermentation-to-distillation plant, that processed ENA from 100 per cent locally sourced raw materials.
He said the achievement revolutionised cassava farming’s subsistent nature to a lucrative cash crop that economically empowered farmers.
“Unicane is currently biofuel-capable for local consumption and exports, can process agricultural waste and capture partial value as well as being able to achieve 50 per cent energy saving through waste treatment and gasification,” Kalu said.
He added that the benefits of the development included import substitution, foreign exchange savings, thousands of direct and support employment opportunities and government revenue generation.