Nigeria’s newest investment in the gas sub-sector, Green Gas Ltd (GGL), on Thursday said its multi-billion dollars Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) plant, located at at Ibafon, Ogun, was 95 per cent completed.
The CNG plant is a Joint Venture Company between Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO) and Nigerian Gas Compnay (NGC).
Mr Taofeeq Lawal, Head, Corporate Affairs, NIPCO, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the CNG project would start operations in 2015.
According to him, the project is very unique in several respects as it shows the avowed commitment of the Federal Government toward resolving the petroleum products crises.
But also it proves the efficacy of the Public Private Partnership Joint Venture efforts of Nigerian Gas Company, a subsidiary of NNPC & NIPCO Plc., he said.
Lawal said the project would reduce the massive importation of petroleum products when the project was completed.
He said the JV sought to set-up 35 CNG filling stations in different parts of the country before the end of 2015.
He added that GGL had already established seven service stations, while 10 additional stations have reached advanced stages of construction.
A breakdown of the projects showed that four of the stations are located on Benin-Warri dual carriageway and two on Benin-Asaba dual carriageway.
One is on Benin-Lagos dual carriageway (Onitea in Ondo and Ibafo in Ogun), another one on Benin-Abuja Expressway and one in Delta.
He said CNG had become a preferred alternative to petrol and diesel, because it is colourless, odourless, non-toxic, but inflammable and lighter than air.
“CNG is not a liquid fuel and is not the same as LPG, which generally consists of propane and butane in liquid form.
“The product is relatively cheaper than petrol and diesel. Also, natural gas is a clean burning fuel that reduces vehicle maintenance costs,” the spokesman said.
Lawal said that since engine oil was not diluted by CNG, oil change intervals could be extended, while standard spark plugs of the engines lasted longer in CNG vehicles.
He said that other benefits included the creation of additional employment opportunities, reduced movement of heavy tankers on roads resulting in enhanced road safety and reduction in environmental pollution from heavy automobiles.
He added that other benefits were the provision of dual fuel option for the vehicles, lower exhaust emissions from CNG automobiles that lead to healthy city life.
It will also place the nation in the league of nations that use environmentally friendly fuels.
“CNG has become increasingly popular day by day.
“Nigeria being a gasrich country, the usage of CNG shall help the Federal Government to reduce its dependence on the importation of refined products and at the same time provide its citizen a quality life.
“Efforts are ongoing to get key companies in Benin to use gas for their vehicles and generating sets as it is cheaper, economical and eco-friendly as source of energy.
“The cost of conversion and availability of gas are some of the major challenges of this scheme, but concerted efforts are on under the joint venture arrangement to further appeal to the Federal Government to look into these areas,” he said.
“On our part, subtle campaigns are ongoing to convince motorists of the inherent benefits in using CNG over other conventional fuels.
“And the fact that the more you travel on it, the faster the recovery period on expenses incurred on installing the kits.
“At the fitment workshop in Aduwawa, Benin, the entire process of conversion takes only 24 hours after a prior preconversion check on the cars for its suitability.
“The company remains committed and has the competence for CNG revolution in the country and make her join other developed nations in the use of this emerging fuel,” he said.
Lawal, said that stakeholders in the oil and gas industry are in support of the flagship project, especially as it would likely bring the era of huge Federal Government’s subsidy on petrol to an end.
“Nigerians are hopeful of the development because it would enable the Federal Government to invest the funds in other areas, including infrastructure development.