World ethanol markets are growing, particularly for fuel-grade ethanol with the key market benefit being a reduction in oil demand. Cassava is at present, a relatively under-utilised ethanol feedstock (as compared with sugarcane, maize and wheat for example). Nigeria is a significant cassava grower and the commercialisation of cassava has been receiving much attention and press in the last few years – it is widely and easily grown and utilised primarily as a starch staple on a subsistence basis.
Osprey Investments required a pre-feasibility study report on producing ethanol from cassava in Nigeria, and approached MASDAR Consultants, who in turn requested OneWorld to assist with the preparation of this study.
OneWorld had previously undertaken work in Nigeria (2005) with respect to a study on the industrialisation of cassava for starch and ethanol. In addition to the work carried out in Nigeria, OneWorld also completed work on the feasibility of cassava processing in Ghana and South Africa.
OneWorld assessed the opportunities for industrialization and conducted a feasibility study on issues of cost of production, logistics, competitive products (e.g. maize, starch), assessment of the institutional and policy framework (e.g. import tariff structures) and made recommendations as to viability, size of production, agricultural practices and technology requirements for commercializing cassava for industrial use. The project entailed desktop studies, field work (visits to cassava farms, factories and interviews with investors, government and a broad range of stakeholder engagement. International best practice was assessed and the Thai model, in particular, was used to inform the process.