The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), has entered into a strategic partnership with NIPCO Gas Limited to develop 56 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) stations across the country.
The NNPC Ltd said the partnership was part of its commitment to reducing carbon footprint and providing cheaper alternative fuel to motorists.
Briefing journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd., said the initiative was in addition to the phased deployment of 56 CNG stations planned by NNPC Retail across the country.
Kyari said the collaboration would expand the country’s CNG infrastructure, improve access to CNG, and accelerate the adoption of cheaper and cleaner alternative fuel to be used by buses, cars and tricycle, popularly called Keke NAPEP.
Speaking on its price when operational, Kyari said CNG price per kg would be determined by market forces, adding that the price would be very affordable because gas was more stable than petroleum.
He said the project would bring multiple benefits to Nigerians, including access to cheaper fuel, reduced cost of transportation, reduced carbon emission, create new business value chains and streams of job opportunities.
“Under the NNPC-NIPCO strategic partnership, 35 state-of-the-art CNG stations will be constructed nationwide, including three Mother stations.
“Once fully operational, the stations can service over 200,000 vehicles daily, thereby significantly reducing carbon emissions and associated impact on climate.
“The project will be rolled out in phases. The first phase, comprising 21 CNG stations, will support intra-city transportation and be ready by the first quarter of 2024.
The second phase, comprising 35 CNG stations, will support inter-city transformation and will be ready by the first quarter of 2025,” he said.
To deepen and sustain this initiative, the GCEO said the NNPC Ltd. had floated NNPC Prime LNG Limited for domestic LNG production and supply.
He said the deployment phases would be in the Short, medium, and long term.
He explained that the short term would cover immediate deployment in major cities, utilising existing NNPC Retail and NIPCOS stations to co-locate the CNG refueling stations and also provide workshops for vehicle conversion/retrofit.
“The Medium Term will cover deployment across the country to deepen the utilization across the country to provide more vehicle conversion workshops and partner with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS) for supply of re-fuelling stations, conversion kits LNG/CNG trucks, among others.
“The long term will cover In-Country Production to capture and penetrate regional markets with design and production of key refueling equipment, conversion kits among others,” he said.
He said it was also collaborating with Miju Auto Gas, a leading CNG kit OEM, based in India, to set up training and conversion centers to facilitate the in-country conversion of vehicles from petrol to CNG.
According to him, NIPCO Gas Limited is currently operating 14 CNG stations across Nigeria and has converted over 7,000 vehicles to run on CNG.
He further explained that NIPCO’s technical competence and field experience will bolster the initiative’s success and amplify its positive impact on the nation’s economy.
Speaking, the Managing Director, of NIPCO, Mr Nagendra Verma, said working with NNPC Ltd would deepen gas utilisation.
Verma, while stating that it has 12 years of experience in the distribution of auto CNG, added that NIPCO would continuously work with NNPC Ltd towards gas market expansion.
He assured that it would meet the expectations of Nigerians in providing economic fuel.