From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Polymer Institute of Nigeria (PIN) has kicked against the importation of polymer by extractive industries in the country.
The Institute noted that there are abundant raw materials and professionals in the country that has the capacity to harness the existing local potentials for the extractive industries.
In a Communiqué issued at the end of its 31st Annual Technical Conference/AGM, Polymer Institute said such importation could overstretch oil exchange and as well violate the local content for extractive industries.
The communiqué was signed by PIN national President, Prof. Paul Mamza.
The annual conference had the theme, “Polymer in the extractive industries: Prospects and challenges”.
The communiqué read in part, “Currently the extractive industry in Nigeria is heavily dependent on the importation of these polymers thereby overstretching the oil exchange and also violating the local content. This is in spite of the abundant raw materials and professionals in the field of polymer science, engineering and technology that has the capacity to harness the existing potentials endowed in our dear nation.
“The Polymer Institute of Nigeria (PIN), however, has recognized the prospects and challenges of polymers in the extractive industry which informed the choice of the theme of this year’s conference”.
The communiqué further added, “Arising from the keynote, lead paper and technical presentations as well as round table discussion that was held during the conference, the following strategic recommendations were arrived at as a step to addressing the prospects and challenges associated with the utilization of polymers in the extractive industry.
“Government shall ensure strict compliance to Nigeria local content policy as it affects the utilization of locally available raw materials, technology and manpower by the extractive industry. This will enhance the prospect of polymer utilization in the petroleum and mining industry.
“The public and private sector should collaborate with the Polymer Institute of Nigeria (PIN) with a view towards harnessing the available human and material resources, this will go a long way in addressing the numerous challenges been faced by the extractive industry.
“The utilization of biodegradable polymers in the extractive industry will provide a better and more economical alternative to waste management and environmental pollution.
“Government and the private sector should support research through the provision of adequate funding targeted towards the development of noble polymers to meet the demands of the extractive industry.
“A comprehensive policy on polymer usage in the extractive industry. The policy should address the numerous environmental challenges posed by non-biodegradable polymer waste and encourage the recycling and reuse of polymers through the provision of incentives to the relevant stakeholders that adhere to regulations governing waste management.
“The extractive industry which is made up of the oil and gas sector, on the one hand, and the solid minerals (mining) sector, on the other, constitute over 90% of Nigeria‘s revenues and close to 10% of its GDP.
“The utilization of natural and synthetic polymers in the extractive industry cannot be overemphasized, typically in the mining sector polymers are widely used to flocculate the tailing, coagulation process, separating of ores, selective depressant and flotation optimizers for a broad range of minerals where they offer significant economic advantages.
“Similarly the oil and gas industry utilizes polymers in anti-corrosion coating, oil spill clean-up and enhanced oil recovery (EOR) as additives for drilling fluid formulations, to serve as thermal stabilizers, viscousifiers, dispersants, inhibitors and thickeners among others.”