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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

FG unveils Lagos CNG plant to cushion subsidy removal

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

In its continued efforts to provide alternative sources of fuel for Nigerians and lessen the impact of subsidy removal on petrol, the Federal Government has commissioned a 5.2 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) plant in Lagos.

According to the apex government, the facility has dispensing points for filling cars, buses, trucks, and tricycles, utilizing CNG, and can fill about 3,700 cars or 600 trucks/buses every day, thereby providing a constant supply of CNG.

It said that six more stations would be commissioned across selected states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to reduce burden on vehicle owners in the country.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, who commissioned the plant at the Isolo Industrial Area, Ilasamaja in Lagos, on Thursday, said the occasion, under the theme “From Gas to Prosperity: CNG for All,” represents a critical turning point in the development of affordable, sustainable, and secure energy sources in the country.

At the event which was also attended by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Minister described 2024 as a historic year for Nigerians, stressing that through his courageous decision to eliminate fuel subsidies and promote the acceptability and broader use of LPG, President Bola Tinubu has brought about several fresh beginnings in the lives of Nigerians.

“Although the elimination of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy has brought difficulties, it has also given us a once-in-a-lifetime chance to invent and adopt more economical, efficient, and sustainable energy alternatives,” the Minister stated.

Ekpo noted that the use of CNG as a transport fuel is a mature technology used globally, as it is the cleanest burning fuel in terms of Nitro-oxide and soot emissions. While it can be employed to power passenger cars and city buses, CNG passenger vehicles emit 5-10% less CO2 than comparable gasoline-powered passenger vehicles, the Minister added.

Earlier, the NNPC boss, Mele Kyari, said that to maintain energy security and provide more access to CNG by the Nigerian populace, NNPC has reached a Final Investment Decision (FID) with a private firm, to deliver six CNG mother and service station plants and stations of 5.2 mmscfd capacity each, in selected locations spread across the six geopolitical zones, including the FCT, to ease access to bulk CNG.

He stated that the move was in addition to NNPC Retail’s phased deployment of CNG in over 100 stations across the country as well as other Joint Venture partnerships on CNG.

Kyari further revealed that the commissioning of the NNPC CNG Station in Ilasamaja, Lagos, was part of NNPC’s efforts to grow domestic gas supply and utilization by deploying gas infrastructure nationwide.

He said the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) explicitly mandated NNPC to promote domestic gas utilisation, thereby strengthening the company’s resolve to deploy critical gas infrastructure projects across the country.

“NNPC will continue to deliver more strategic projects for the benefit of our country. We shall utilise our gas resources for industrialisation, power generation and economic prosperity for all,” Kyari added.

The Chief Executive, Presidential CNG Initiative, Engineer Michael Oluwagbemi, described the plant commissioning as a testament to President Tinubu’s commitment to providing sustainable energy solutions for Nigerians.

The NNPC CNG Station Ilasamaja is a 5.2 MMscf per day capacity station that can serve vehicles and also supply gas to industries and other companies.

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