The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has concluded plans to start activation of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refill stations for motorists across the country.
The corporation disclosed this in a statement by the Group General Manager Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, in Abuja, on Sunday.
The CNG (methane stored at high pressure) is a fuel that can be used in place of gasoline, diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and its combustion produces fewer undesirable gases than the aforementioned fuels.
Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva had announced that the Federal Government will in the next couple of weeks inaugurate CNG Plants in all NNPC petroleum stations across the country.
This, he said would serve as alternative to petrol for motorists in the country.
He said the idea was to support the ongoing initiatives by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to provide alternate energy sources for Nigerians.
He quoted the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Malam Mele Kyari, as saying that the National Oil Company had already keyed into the gas penetration agenda championed by Sylva.
Kyari noted that as an energy company with focus on cleaner and cheaper sources of fuel, the Corporation would continue to work with other stakeholders in the industry to provide viable alternatives to petrol.
This, he said would ultimately lead to reduction in demand for the product and eventual reduction in price.
Meanwhile the federal government has announced that, beginning from October, Nigerian motorists will be able to convert their cars using petrol to Gas, which is far cheaper.
The nation’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, who made the announcement to newsmen in Abuja, said that the alternative fuel is meant to give the deregulation a human face.
“To give it (deregulation) a human face,” he explained, “we are introducing an alternative fuel. We are giving auto gas. Gas will now become a fuel for our cars. This programme will be rolled out within the next one month.
“So, if you go to a filling station and you convert your car to dual capability or dual fuel, then you drive into a typical filling station, you will find gas LPG, you find CNG and NLG being sold.
“So, if you look at the price of PMS versus the price of gas and you think that gas is cheaper which of course, it is going to be cheaper.
“Gas will even be cheaper that PMS as it is today. So you see that we are also giving an alternative to the ordinary Nigerians,’’ the minister said.
Year 2020 marks the 11th year since the Nigerian government commenced a push for the usage of CNG and LPG in automobiles to utilise Nigeria’s abundant gas reserves.
As part of the build up towards nationwide petrol-vehicle-conversion-to-gas regime, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources had earlier (in August) ordered the chief executive of departments and agencies under the Ministry to convert all their official vehicles to run on autogas.
The minister, who disclosed that he had already submitted all his vehicles to be converted to run on either option of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), described the development as a demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s seriousness with its declaration of 2020 as “the year of gas.”
“And on that premise,” he stressed, “I now have the moral backing to direct that all CEOs and their able lieutenants do same by converting all their official vehicles to run on autogas.”
When it becomes operational, the automobile gas conversion regime will no doubt reducing energy poverty in Nigeria, as it would lessen pains that the recent removal of petroleum subsidy would bring upon the nation’s vehicle users.
In the words of the nation’s Programme Manager, Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme, Justice Derefaka, the new policy “will also reduce pollution and the damaging environmental effect of carbon from petrol.”
It would be recalled that, following the Nigeria LPG Assembly organized by the Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream Limited in July, operators agreed that with emerging global realities and issues around the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and other fuels in-country, more stakeholders are adopting LPG for use in industries, power generation and automobiles among other interests.
Furthermore, the global campaign against climate change and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has made it imperative for Nigeria, a major gas flaring country, to rethink its position on dirty fuels and reduce its carbon footprint.
The plan is to reduce the national energy consumption of petrol and diesel by achieving a 40 per cent fuel switch to LPG in 10 years. The programme will also promote the wider use of LPG as Autogas.
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