R – L.: Manager Operations ,Engr Masheni Gabriel ; MD NIPCO Plc ,Suresh Kumar ; MD NIPCO Gas Limited,Nagendra Verma at an interactive session with media men in Lagos
The Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO), said it has invested over $50 million in gas infrastructure to aid diversification of Nigeria’s energy transition and reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels .
Mr Suresh Kumar, the Managing Director, NIPCO Plc, who disclosed this during a facility tour of the company in company of MD NIPCO Gas Ltd ,a fully owned subsidiary of firm ,Mr Nagendra Verma, the integrated downstream player has deepened gas usage and market penetration in the country through massive investment in the sector
He said that with the intentions of the federal government to do away with fuel subsidy, natural gas either or piped for auto or industrial purposes are bound to be the preferred “fuel of choice” due to safety, environment, economic and abundant availability benefits of the transition fuel in Nigeria.
He stressed that the company has invested massively in gas infrastructure in line with Federal Government declaration of 2021 to 2030 as “Nigeria’s Decade of Gas“, a period the government aspired to accelerate domestic and export gas potentials of the nation .
He said that the decade of gas agenda of government is getting a boost as NIPCO intensifies investment in gas infrastructure to bolster the decade of gas agenda of the Federal Government.
According to him, the company has established Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) facilities across the country to make cars run on gas, while it is currently expanding its scope on supply of Natural Gas and constructing new pipeline infrastructure to strategic locations in the country.
Kumar, said the company has invested over huge funds in local and foreign currencies in developing Nigeria’s natural gas over the years, while more projects are still in the offing.
He said: “We have spent more than $50 million on natural gas infrastructure over the years. We believe that there are lots of potential in Nigeria that can be explored for gas utilisation, and this will further boost our economy.
“By using indigenous gas, we can reduce subsidy burden on the Federal Government.
“We can reduce the importation burden and that will directly or indirectly save huge our Forex and create more employment opportunities for Nigerians.
“We are the pioneers. We always dream for the future. So we dreamt for natural gas utilisation in Nigeria right from 2008 and we started investing.
” We introduced this model to the government and say that look, Nigeria is a country that has abundant natural gas and instead of wasting subsidy on petrol, we should be looking at a blueprint of changing the petrol market to natural gas market,” he said .
He said the company currently has about 19,500 metric tonnes combined storage capacity for LPG, with 10 loading bays which can truck-out over 4,000 tons per day.
Also speaking, Mr Nagendra Verma, the Managing Director, NIPCO Gas, said the company currently has 14 CNG filling stations in various states across Nigeria, while another six CNG stations are currently under construction.
He said over 7,000 vehicles are presently running on CNG, adding that over 350 truck fleet of NIPCO are all running on gas.
“We have workshops which are fully efficient and fully capable to convert PMS vehicles to gas, we have the expertise and we are ready to convert more vehicles to run on gas, he said.
Verma said: “So, we intend to have CNG stations in almost all the states of Nigeria wherever the pipeline is available.
“Presently we are laying an 80 Kilometer gas pipeline from Shagamu interchange to Ibadan to aid access to the emerging fuel across the world
“The pipeline work is going on. We expect to commission first phase by the end of December 2023.
“And the entire pipeline is expected to be completed by next year,” he said.
According to him the company is also developing gas pipeline infrastructure in Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos, which is currently nearing completion.
He said the company is currently constructing a propane tank of 5,000mt capacity, the biggest in Nigeria, in a bid to meet up with the Federal Government requirements of mixing certain quantity of propane with butane for domestic gas.
According to him, the propane tank would be completed in the next three months and improve effective utilisation of the product for domestic cooking .