ExxonMobil Guyana made a $4M contribution to the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Guyana for the completion of its Gasifier project, which was commissioned Monday at an estimated cost of $12.4M.
This equipment will be used to produce biochar which is charcoal produced from plant matter and stored in the soil as a means of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the oil major noted in a press release.
It will support studies in bioenergy technology in the BSc. Degree programmes in Agriculture and Forestry and in the Masters in Energy.
The Gasifier will be used for research in other biomass materials e.g. grass pellets, coconut shells, rice-hull pellets among other biomass sources to produce bio char and electricity.
It will also be used for training other stakeholders in organic agriculture and power generation using biomass.
Speaking at the ceremony, Country Manager Rod Henson indicated that ExxonMobil Guyana is pleased to support such initiatives as the company seeks to contribute to the country’s social and economic progress.
“The University of Guyana has been a critical institution for this country since before independence, and it’s an institution that we believe will help to shape the transformation to come,” the release quoted Henson as saying.
The bioenergy Gasifier is also intended to provide clean and renewable energy to the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and according to the University of Guyana, it could enable a significant reduction in the electricity bill to the University when fully operational.
“When fully operational could also contribute to the reduction in the carbon footprint of the University by utilizing a significant amount biomass found on campus,” the UG in a release said.
According to the University, the project which took about three years to develop and now in test mode, will have the capacity to produce 10-12kWatts of clean energy.
Bio char used as a soil ameliorant can aid Guyana’s international commitment to mitigate climate change and contribute to the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) by storing carbon in the soil in a stable form, the University noted.