The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has announced a strategic partnership with NIPCO Gas Limited to develop Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations across the country in line with the fuel subsidy removal palliative implementation plan of the Federal Government.
NNPCL’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Garba Deen Muhammad disclosed the partnership in a statement on Thursday.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu during his National Broadcast on Monday disclosed that his administration had made provision to invest N100 billion between now and 2024 to acquire and rollout 3,000 units of 20-seater CNG fuelled buses across the states and local governments of the federation.
Experts say the use of natural gas as an alternative fuel for motorists is exciting, however, it is not a silver bullet to the present economic challenges occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy.
TheFact Daily checks revealed that the country cannot currently handle the population of motorists that may turn to CNG use.
Currently, there are less than fifty standard CNG plants available for refilling purposes in Nigeria. The government targets to establish about 2,000 CNG filling stations across the country, against the over 9, 000 fuel stations.
Presently, NIPCO Gas operates 14 CNG stations in Edo, Kogi, Delta, Ogun state, and Abuja, while others are under various stages of construction and approval.
It should also be noted that one of Africa’s largest CNG companies, Power Gas, currently operates five CNG plants in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the NNPCL said, the partnership was in addition to the phased deployment of 56 CNG stations planned by NNPC Retail across the country.
It said, the landmark collaboration aims to expand the CNG infrastructure, improve access to CNG, and accelerate the adoption of cheaper and cleaner alternative fuel for buses, cars, and Keke NAPEP, which will significantly reduce the cost of transportation and engender sustainable national economic growth.
Under the NNPC-NIPCO strategic partnership, 35 state-of-the-art CNG stations would be constructed nationwide, including three (3) Mother stations.
NNPCL said, once fully operational, the stations can service over 200,000 vehicles daily, thereby significantly reducing carbon emissions and associated impact on climate.
It said the project would be rolled out in phases. The first phase, comprising 21 CNG stations, will support intra-city transportation and be ready by the first quarter of 2024; While the second phase, comprising 35 CNG stations, will support inter-city transformation and will be ready by the first quarter of 2025.
To deepen and sustain this initiative, NNPC Ltd., said, it has “floated NNPC Prime LNG Limited for domestic LNG production and supply. NNPC is also collaborating with Miju Auto Gas, a leading CNG kit Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) based in India, to set up training and conversion centres to facilitate in-country conversion of vehicles from petrol to CNG.
“NIPCO Gas Limited is currently operating 14 CNG stations across Nigeria and has converted over 7,000 vehicles to run on CNG. NIPCO’s technical competency and field experience will bolster this initiative’s success and amplify its positive impact on the nation’s economy.
“This forward-thinking initiative will leverage Nigeria’s abundant natural gas resources to bring multiple benefits to Nigerians, including access to cheaper fuel, reduced cost of transportation, reduced carbon emission, create new business value chains and streams of job opportunities.
“NNPC Limited remains committed to reliably delivering the energy while continuously creating value for Nigeria’s prosperous future”, the statement said.
Nigeria is endowed with over 200 Trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves, from which numerous economic value is driven such as gas to power, petrochemicals/fertilizer industries, and the transport sector using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
CNG is produced by compressing natural gas to between 200-250 bar to enhance its storage in onboard cylinders.
CNG is a suitable and cheaper alternative fuel for motorists with a lower emission impact. With CNG, Nigerian motorists can afford a cheaper and environmentally friendly fuel to supplement PMS consumption and enhance domestic energy security.