Friday, 07 December 2012 00:00
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Nipco spends N117b on CNG projects

Nipco Plc, an integrated indigenous downstream operator, has injected well over 17 billion naira in the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) infrastructure in a joint venture scheme with Nigeria Gas Company (NGC)  a subsidiary  of Nigerian  National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The JV scheme, which resulted in the setting up Green Gas Ltd had already inaugurated eight CNG stations and three conversion workshops in the city of Benin while more outlets are currently under construction in other parts of the country.

The Managing  Director, Nipco, Mr Venkataraman Venkatapathy, who made the disclosure while speaking on the sidelines at the Nigeria Gas Association(NGA) 8th international Conference and Exhibition said over 1,500 vehicles had been configured to use CNG as vehicular fuel which are capable of saving the nation huge  sums of money that could have been expended on fuel subsidy.

He explained that the GGL initiative which is the first of its kind in West Africa is ushering-in a new era of vehicles running on CNG in Nigeria with its attendant benefits.

Venkatapathy listed other infrastructure provided by the JV Company to include the laying of over 50 km still pipelines for gas distribution to the inaugurated CNG stations across the city of Benin in a conscious bid to guarantee access to gas to the outlets.

According to him, the conversion process which takes approximately ffive hours has been very smooth since 2009 when the company  inaugurated its first set of stations.

Venkatapathy explained that after conversion the vehicle  can run both on Petrol and natural gas thus giving the motorist a tab switch between using CNG and Petrol at will.

The NIPCO MD  said in order to create more awareness on the benefits of powering vehicles with gas over petrol, GGL has continuously showed cased CNG vehicle in scores of exhibitions including the just concluded NGA event to enable the public see and experience vehicle that runs on petrol and CNG.

He said the latest addition in the CNG revolution being undertaken by GGL is the conversion of Tricycles popularly referred to as “Keke Napep” and Mass Transit buses in the fleet of Edo State government transportfleet popularly known as “Comrade Bus”.

According to him, five Edo State mass transport buses are running successfully on CNG for the last Six months  while 25 more are in the process of being converted as a further boost to natural gas usage in the state and beyond.

“The CNG initiative which is the first of its kind in West Africa is receiving a lot of support from both the Federal and Edo State government, a feat that is serving as good catalyst for GGL to pursue the dream with vigour and deep sense of responsibility, the MD noted.

He reiterated that pioneering a project of this nature is a big challenge but the unwavering commitment of the Federal Government through the relevant agencies NGC - our JV partner ,DPR etc have spurred us to redouble our efforts to enable the citizenry enjoy the benefits of this environment friendly fuel .

In his remarks at the Nipco Pavilion at the event, the Group Executive Director[ GED], Gas and Power, NNPC, Dr David Ige said the GGL initiative is commendable and in line with the transformation policy of President Ebele Jonathan which harps on the exploration of the abundant natural gas reserves for the benefit of the people.

“The initiative between NIPCO and Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) was to leverage Natural Gas in vehicular use as it is significantly cheap, environment friendly, safe and efficient in comparison to white products especially in a deregulated fuel market” he submitted.

Dr. Ige maintained that over time, the 50 per cent savings currently being enjoyed by taxi drivers whose cars run on CNG would be passed to passengers thus making an average passenger in Nigeria move around at a relatively cheaper rate than they could with petrol.

The NNPC GED   assured that government will continue to support initiatives of this nature adding that of the three companies given the licence to pioneer CNG revolution  in 2007 only NIPCO  showed enough commitment which are further exemplified in the zeal at which the projects are being executed.