Investors mobilise $50m to boost CNG adoption — FG

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CNGThe Federal Government (FG) yesterday, disclosed that investors have mobilised $50 million in the past six months to support infrastructure development for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) adoption in the transportation sector.

Additionally, the government said it is also offering a 50 percent discount on conversion kits, priced between N1.2 million and N1.5 million to encourage transporters to switch to CNG, which can save up to 77 percent in energy costs.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting on the benefits of adoption of CNG as a sustainable and economical energy alternative for transporters, the Programme Director, Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas Programme, PCNGI, Mr. Michael Oluwagbemi, said the government is also working with banks to provide funds for the programme.

The forum which was organised by Portland Gas and PCNGI, had the theme: Driving sustainable transportation: Accelerating CNG adoption in Nigeria.

Represented by Mr. Tosin Coker, Oluwagbemi said the government will, in the coming days, roll out buses and tricycles powered by CNG to support public transportation in Abuja.

According to him, “In December 2023, we hosted our first investor forum, which saw tremendous participation from companies now investing in the sector. I am pleased to report that well over $50 million has been mobilised directly by the sector since then more than any amount mobilised in the last ten years combined. We are also enabling ordinary Nigerians, particularly transport operators, to convert their vehicles.

“Last month, on May 29, we announced the Conversion Incentive Program, making it easier for Nigerians to adopt CNG. This effort is supported by private sector partners, development funds and banks, all eager to finance this transformative initiative.

“More importantly, in an effort to reduce the cost of public transport, we are catalysing the sector by supporting the introduction of CNG buses and tricycles (kekes). In the next few days, you will witness these buses on the streets of Abuja, even as we also start to make conversion kits available at 50% discount to the transport sector”, he added.

Speaking on the benefits of switching to CNG fuel, the Managing Director, Portland Gas Limited, Mr. Folajimi Mohammed, noted that besides being cheaper than petrol and diesel, CNG provides more mileage for transporters and vehicle owners.

Mohammed explained that the technology allows for the retention of the old petrol/diesel system, allowing owners to switch fuel when needed.

He said: “CNG is a cleaner-burning fuel, resulting in lower emissions and better air quality. CNG is generally cheaper than petrol, leading to significant fuel cost savings. CNG vehicles have a longer engine life due to the cleaner burning properties of the fuel.

“The conversion involves installing a CNG tank, fuel lines, regulators, and other accessories in the vehicle. Certified CNG conversion centres handle the entire conversion process, which typically takes three hours. The vehicle’s existing petrol system is kept intact, allowing the driver to switch between petrol and CNG as needed.

“Conversion kits are available for dedicated CNG and bi-fuel. A hybrid system allows the vehicle to run on either natural gas as the primary fuel or gasoline as the reserve fuel. When the natural gas runs out, the engine is switched over to gasoline either manually with a dashboard switch, or automatically, dual fuel vehicles are well suited for applications in which much of the driving is in an urban area, serviced by a CNG fill station, but where occasional long-distance trips are required”.

He noted that the “cost of conversion can vary depending on the vehicle model, size of the CNG tank, and the conversion centre, but it typically ranges from N1.2m to N1.5m.

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