Toxic waste from ethanol plant pollutes water, kills aquatic life in River Benue

Toxic substances being released from the ethanol production plant, Pure Biotech Company Limited in Makurdi, Benue State, has allegedly polluted the waters of the River Benue, killing aquatic life and causing possible health hazards.

The plant commenced production in March last year with the use of at least between 300 and 500 metric tonnes of fresh and dried cassava daily and has been emptying its waste inside the river through a channel at the back of the company…..CONTINUE READING

The plant is also reported to be producing alcoholic beverages such as distilled spirits.

When New Telegraph visited the company yesterday, it was observed that the black toxic wastes from the factory were spreading an offensive odour causing respiration challenges.

Governor Samuel Ortom had denied ownership of the company being run by a Chinese consortium, saying he has “nothing to do with the company and was surprised to hear about its existence in Benue”.

He told reporters that a friend notified him about the company and how some people were speculating that he was the owner.

Spokesman for the Benue Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bemgba Iortyom defended the establishment of the plant saying it would serve as “a significant gain from his concerted efforts to market the state to the international community with a view to wooing foreign investors to the state”.

The ruling party said: “The industry represents a major boost to the agriculture sector of the state which runs a predominantly agrarian economic structure, and this is evident in the impact on the production of cassava in the state as the main raw material for the industry, with the attendant multiplier effects on the economy in multiple areas of related activities.

“With the prevailing insecurity across the country and with the widely known situation of Fulani herdsmen armed attacks on Benue in particular, it was a feat of no mean proportions that the Chinese investors were attracted to the state to cite that particular industry here and this is a feat which must be appreciated by all who mean well for Benue as a state regardless of what their objectives might be.”

Meanwhile, Ortom yesterday ordered an investigation into the waste disposal system of the company…..CONTINUE READING