In order to ensure sustainable supply of raw materials in the country, the Raw Material Research Development Council (RMRDC) says it is collaborating with relevant stakeholders to establish a lime processing plant in Kogi State.
The Director-General of RMRDC, Professor Hussaini D. Ibrahim, who gave the hint, said as the economic reform and efforts of diversifying the economy by the present administration continues, the Council intends to promote the establishment of the plant in various areas where limestone is mined in appreciable quantities.
The DG, who spoke on the country’s efforts to start the production of Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC), said about 500 jobs (direct and indirect) could be created through the establishment of the plants in viable areas.
On PCC, the DG frowned at its high cost of importation and that because of its high demand in critical industries and high level of availability of limestone in Nigeria, it will not be justified for the country to continue to depend solely on its importation.
‘’As result, the Council collaborated with the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Zaria, to address the issue of import dependency on PCC.
“Thus, RMRDC undertook the development of pilot plant of PCC as utmost priority.
‘’The objective of the project was to design, develop and fabricate a pilot plant for the production of PCC from quicklime and sodium carbonate.
“The pilot plant has been successfully constructed, test run and is currently efficiently running. The capacity is 158kg per day of PCC,’’ he said.
Daily Trust reports that Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) is generally made from a calcium carbonate rock called limestone as well as marble.
Nigeria has an estimated reserve of Limestone / Marble in excess of over one billion metric tons scattered in different parts of the country.
While limestone deposit is mainly found in Cross River and Ebonyi, its deposits have also been reported in commercial quantities in Benue, Ogun, Kogi and Akwa Ibom, Ondo, Sokoto, Borno, Enugu, Imo, Bauchi and Abia states.
Why PCC production should be promoted
The worldwide market for Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (PCC) is expected to grow at a CAGR of roughly 0.7% over the next five years.
A document from RMRDC estimates that it might likely reach 3930 million USD in 2024, from 3760 million USD in 2019.
The PPC requirement in Nigeria is currently met mainly through importation despite the abundance of the raw material for its local production.
According to the document, between 2014 and 2018, about N18 billion was expended on the importation of precipitated calcium carbonate into the country for use in various industries, most especially, the paint, plastic, pharmaceuticals and paper industries.
In 2018, approximately 52,000MT of PCC was imported at an absolute cost of N7 billion.
This is what stakeholders believe is a great and inexplicable drain on the Nigerian economy, considering the fact that the major raw material required for the production is Limestone / Marble.