GMD NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari

NNPC to partner varsities on new energy


Sopuruchi Onwuka

Despite posting hopes of sustained oil and gas demand in the international energy markets, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is exploring inroads into new energy as part of its efforts aligning with the prevailing energy transition.

According to the Group General Manager in charge of Group Public Affairs Department, Dr Kennie Obateru, NNPC would collaborate with tertiary institutions in the country on development of energy storage and inter-conversion technology required to tap into renewable energy.

Drillers on a rig

Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, who hosted visiting delegation from the university led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Lawal Suleiman Bilbis, and later spoke at the university’s lecture series, challenged the Nigerian academia on development and transformation of their local communities through research and innovation.

He said the corporation was ready to collaborate with universities in the area of energy transition and renewable energy, which he said, were key features of the corporation’s new business focus.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Lawal Bilbis, called for lasting solutions to nation’s energy problems; adding that transparency and accountability in the corporation have engendered a positive transformation in the Nigerian oil and gas industry at large.

During his speech at the 2021 First Quarter Public Lecture Series on “Navigating Energy Transition and the Imperatives of University-Industry Collaboration” at the university; Mallam Kyari called on African governments and institutions to adopt technology and innovation for the benefits of the people.

“African Governments and institutions must rise to the occasion to leverage technology and innovation to support energy sufficiency, industrialization, job creation and economic growth,” Kyari emphasized.

He said NNPC was building innovative business models that fit into the future of energy, adding that the corporation would lead Africa in transition to low-carbon energy and renewables.

Mallam Kyari said NNPC has established a Renewable Energy Division and completely transformed the NNPC Research and Development (R&D) Division to NNPC Research, Technology and Innovation Centre.

He noted that the oil industry alone cannot drive substantial innovation without sustained collaboration with universities, research institutes, manufacturers, policy makers and regulators.

According to him, energy transition cannot be complete without the right investment climate, capital, effective regulation, stakeholder’s commitment, supportive infrastructure, and an innovative business environment that can accommodate the anticipated changes.

He observed that further diversification of energy sources will improve global access to energy and reduce the absolute number of people without access to energy, especially in developing countries.

He said the new energy transition must be fashioned towards creating a balanced landscape that supports the development and energy needs of diverse groups of people across the planet.

He maintained that as global energy consumption grows from 2018 levels by about 50% by 2050, oil and gas will continue to be a crucial component of the world’s future energy because the world will keep burning significant proportion of fossil fuels to sustain the anticipated progress and growth, especially in Asia and Africa.

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