NNPCL, NIPCO partnership will expand CNG network –NIPCO MD

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NIPCO Gas Limited has partnered with the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited to expand the AutoCNG infrastructure nationwide by providing an alternative fuel option for motorists.

The Managing Director, NIPCO Gas, Nagendra Verma, announced this on Sunday while giving an update on the company’s efforts in growing use of gas as vehicular fuel across the nation and its pipelines expansion projects  in Lagos.

According to him, the company has been at the forefront of AutoCNG development since its inception in 2009.

He noted NIPCO Gas has 15 AutoCNG stations across Nigeria, stretching from Benin City to Ibafo in Ogun State and Kogi State.

Verma stated that with the partnership, the AutoCNG network was set to expand to reach key locations such as Abuja FCT, Ibadan in Oyo State, and Oron in Akwa Ibom State.

He disclosed that the company was planning to construct 35 new AutoCNG stations, with four stations in Lagos expected to be completed by April/May 2024.

“The partnership has facilitated the ambition of AutoCNG stations and other ancillary facilities like kits conversion workshops across the country.

“Beyond AutoCNG, NIPCO Gas is expanding its gas transportation pipeline towards Ibadan and its gas distribution network in the Lekki Free Zone, further enhancing indigenous gas utilization and reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels.

“With AutoCNG priced competitively against traditional fuels, NIPCO Gas is optimistic that sustained government support will propel it to become the preferred choice for motorists nationwide, alleviating import pressures and Forex burdens in the process”, Verma said.

The NIPCO boss who also commended stakeholders including PCNGI, NMDPRA, SON, NNPCL, and others,  emphasised  the capital-intensive nature of gas distribution and AutoCNG projects, which demand significant investment and perseverance.

President Bola Tinubu approved the establishment of the Presidential Compressed Natural Gas initiative last year, targeting over 11,500 new CNG-enabled vehicles.

Also included in the target are 55,000 CNG conversion kits for existing PMS-dependent vehicles as the initiative seeks to strengthen in-country manufacturing, local assembly, and expansive job creation in line with the presidential directive.

However, stakeholders in the petroleum and transport sectors have lamented that the absence of the needed CNG stations is frustrating the FG’s initiative and stalling the massive roll-out and use of CNG-powered buses.

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