Ex-president advocates CNG as car fuel

*A customer refueling her tank with CNG in Los Angeles, California-

*A customer refueling her tank with CNG in Los Angeles, California.

Kunle Kalejaye

13 June 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo recently advocated for the use of Compressed Natural Gas, CNG as the fuel of choice for cars in the country.

CNG is a readily available alternative to gasoline that’s made by compressing natural gas to less than one percent of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. Consisting mostly of methane, CNG is odorless, colorless and tasteless.

‎Chief Obasanjo threw his weight behind the use of CNG when management team of NIPCO plc paid a courtesy visit to his Hilltop Estate in Abeokuta.

Management of NIPCO showcased before the former president some vehicles running on CNG and Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG and the needs for government to promote the use of CNG as a vehicular fuel.

‎Chief Obasanjo informed the team that in 2006, his administration passed into law the use of CNG as a source of fuel for cars in order to promote a cleaner environment.

The former president added that if other government had promoted the use of LPG and CNG in the country, half of the country’s vehicles would have been converted to gas.

Stating the idea behind CNG bill, Chief Obasanjo said: “The essence was to provide an alternative to Premium Motor Spirit, PMS or petrol at a reduced cost and to boost national socio-economic growth.”

Obasanjo said, beside the economic gains, CNG helps to reduce unfriendly automobile emissions and introduced Nigerians to the innovation of powering vehicles on gas.

The Managing Director, NIPCO Plc, Mr. Venkataraman Venkatapathy said that Nigeria would have saved the government over $2 billion yearly if the use of CNG is promoted in Nigeria.

Globally, Venkatapathy said the natural gas industry is increasing its focus and effort to support natural gas transport.

He said that the CNG project was between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and NIPCO through a joint-venture scheme called Green Gas Limited.

NIPCO’s MD 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 the CNG in Nigeria with its attendant benefits

Venkatapathy ‎added that CNG is a superior auto fuel alternation to liquid fuels such as petrol and diesel specifically for countries like Nigeria which is blessed with abundant availability of natural gas remains untapped.

According to him, to replace 20 percent of current petrol consumption in Nigeria, Natural gas required is less than five percent of the total domestic gas consumed currently and less that one of the current gas production.

“This will save the country over two billion dollars yearly on foreign exchange.

“In Benin City, Edo State over 4000 vehicles run on CNG which resulted in replacing 20 million litres of petrol from 2012 to 2015, which also saved over nine million dollars for the country,” Venkatapathy said.

The MD stressed that CNG has more benefits than petrol, which includes low operating cost, lower maintenance cost and it reduced harmful vehicle emissions that cause local air pollution.

He said that on mile to mile basis, CNG will be cheaper than petrol by over 50 per cent and as compared to Diesel (on dual fuel mode) it will be over 45 per cent.

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