By Theodore Opara
ECO Bus maker and Pow-er Gas have opened discussions on the plan to provide sufficient auto gas filling stations in Nigerian cities where compressed natural gas-powered vehicles can be re-fuelled, and will be put to good use.
This is sequel to a recent introduction of the eco-friendly vehicles into the Nigerian market by Austrian Technologies Nigeria, an initiative expected to significantly reduce carbon emissions from vehicles with its attendant hazards to human health.
Director, Sales and Strategy at Powergas Nigeria, Sumeet Singh, said the firm was already talking with Austrian Technologies Nigeria on the auto-gas issue and how to ensure easy access of the CNG by the operators of the Natural Gas-powered Vehicles, NGVs.
According to him, there is the option of entering into an arrangement with managements and operators of the existing filling stations in the country currently dispensing petrol and other petroleum products to provide standard spaces for installation of the CNG facility.
He said: “Getting the auto-gas stations in a ready state could be achieved within six to nine months (or earlier, if not for the global supply-chain challenges), which is about the same period it will take to deliver the Eco-Green buses by automaker after getting firm orders from the stakeholders.”
Mr. Singh, who said his firm had about 50 gas-powered trucks currently operating in Nigeria, added that they would be willing to build and partner for CNG Auto-Gas stations. CNG as an auto fuel is 50 per cent cheaper than alternative fuels (diesel), and with the current global price volatility of the liquid fuels, domestic Nigerian natural gas is one of the best tools for Nigeria to combat inflation and rising prices.”
Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Technologies Nigeria Limited, Mr. Johann Rieger, had while announcing the introduction of the eco-friendly vehicles said the buses were built with European standards for critical climate and infrastructure, while being considerate towards price sensitivity of developing nations like Nigeria.
Last week, director-general of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, also said Nigeria would leverage natural gas resources to drive the nation’s automotive wheels.
Aliyu, who spoke at a national awareness campaign/workshop on safety and benefits of gas-powered vehicles in Nigeria, stressed the need to embrace the eco-friendly automotive initiative, noting that Nigeria could not afford to be left out in the viable global auto gas initiative.
He described the global automotive industry as “a horse race that is technically advanced that only countries with adequate utilization of natural and human resources can fully participate and have a head start in the race.”
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