Maikanti Baru, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has challenged mechanical engineers in the country with interest in renewable energy technology to up their skills and expertise to support current initiative by the corporation to create a non-fossil fuel driven economy.
The NNPC GMD stated this in Abuja Wednesday while speaking as the Distinguished Lecturer at the 12th Mechanical Engineers Distinguished Lecture, an event organized by the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
Baru, in the presentation entitled “Fast Tracking the Paradigm Shift from Fossil Fuel Driven Economy to Renewable Energy”, noted that the Corporation was favourably disposed to institutional collaboration and academic partnership with universities and research centres in promoting research and innovation aimed at diversifying the energy sector.
Tracing the advent of the consciousness for the development of bio-fuels technology in the country to the establishment of the Renewable Energy Division of the NNPC in August 2005 and the subsequent formulation of the Renewable Energy Master Plan, the NNPC GMD said through the years the Corporation had remained a beacon in the pursuit of alternative energy sources to complement the nation’s massive hydrocarbon base.
He added that ongoing efforts to create a diversified energy base could benefit much from in-country capabilities and ingenious technological support of experts in the areas of mechanical and electrical engineering.
He listed the required fields of competence to include: system reliability, control theory and modeling stimulation, mechanics-mounting heavy components, designing for shock & vibration, heavy power equipment, as well as skills in enclosure/packing designs.
Other competences required are: skills in magnetics design common in every single solar, wind, electric vehicle and power distribution box; skills in thermodynamics involving thermal and airflow designs; as well as ability to handle rotating machinery and monitor materials reliability and cost.
He said at this stage, the world needs a clean energy revolution in order to break its inordinate dependence on fossil energy fuels, adding that such a revolution would enhance global energy security, promote enduring economic growth and tackle environmental challenges, and break the long-standing link between economic growth and carbon dioxide emission levels.
“Nigeria on its part is endowed with tremendous prospects of growth in renewable technologies on account of readily available hydroelectric potentials, longer hours of sunshine in the northern part of the country and impressive wind speeds in the coastal and mountainous regions and land mass for the cultivation of energy crops like cassava, sugar cane etc”, he said.
He concluded that the NNPC as the leading energy entity in the country was more than ready to partner with the Nigerian engineering community to achieve its mandate.
Earlier in his welcome address, Adekunle Mokuolu, president of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, applauded the NNPC GMD for his transformational strides in the management of the corporation, noting that the Nigerian engineering community was taking note of his performance as the chief steward of the national oil company.
Robinson Ejilah, national chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, noted that mechanical engineers in the country and beyond see the NNPC GMD as a worthy ambassador of the profession and that members of the institution would pick up the challenge thrown by the GMD.
The Mechanical Engineers Distinguished Lecture (MEDL) series was established in 1995 as a means of identifying, recognizing and honouring mechanical engineers who have distinguished themselves in learning and practice of the profession.