Economy gets $50m investment in gas infrastructure
• Using indigenous gas can reduce subsidy burden —NIPCO boss
As part of efforts aimed at developing Nigeria’s gas resources, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company (NIPCO) Plc, Suresh Kumar, disclosed that his company has invested over $50m in developing Nigeria’s natural gas over the years, with plans to execute more projects.
He said: “We have spent more than $50m on natural gas infrastructure over the years. We believe that there are a lot of potential in Nigeria that can be explored for gas utilisation, which will further boost the economy.
“By using indigenous gas, we can reduce subsidy burden of the Federal Government. We can also reduce the importation burden which will directly or indirectly save huge capital flight and more employment opportunities for Nigerians.
“We are pioneers and we always dream of the future. So, we dreamt of natural gas utilisation in Nigeria right from 2008 and since then have been investing. We introduced this model to the government, drawing the attention of the government to that fact that the country has abundant natural gas and instead of wasting subsidy on petrol, Nigeria should be looking at a blueprint of changing the petrol market to CNG market,” he said.
According to him, NIPCO is an integrated company that supplies the market petrol, diesel and gas.
He added that the company currently has about 19,500mt combined storage capacity for LPG, with 10 loading bays, which can truck-out over 4,000 tons per day.
On his part, the Managing Director, NIPCO Gas, Nagendra Verma, said that the company currently has 14 CNG filling stations in various states across the country, while another six CNG stations are under construction.
He said that over 7000 vehicles are presently running on CNG, while over 350-truck fleet of NIPCO are running on gas.
“We have workshops which are fully efficient and 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 added that the plan is to have CNG stations in almost all the states of Nigeria, particularly in areas where the pipeline is available.
“Presently, we are laying 80 kilometre LNG pipeline from Shagamu interchange to Ibadan. The pipeline work is going on. We expect to commission first phase by 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 nearing completion.
He said that the company is 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 quantities of propane with butane for domestic gas.
According to him, the propane tank would be completed in the next three months.