Efforts by the Federal Government to end the menace of gas flaring under the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialization Programme (NGFCP) is expected to save the country over $2.5bn yearly through reduced fuel costs.
The initiative which was facilitated the Commercial Counsellor of the Austrian Embassy, Guido Stock with the support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in Lagos is to be driven by an indigenous firm, Powergas and the Austrian clean tech company- ETEFA who have introduced gas-fired city buses for public transport in the country.
According to the General Manager, Powergas, Sumeet Singh, the introduction of the gas-fired city buses will reduce fuels costs in the transportation and power generation sectors by over 30 percent
The Clean, Economic and Safe Transportation (“CEST”) Program under the Gas Flare Monetisation Projects, a strategic alliance between Powergas, a leading Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) distributor and pioneer in virtual gas pipeline supply and ETEFA
Singh reiterated the company’s commitment to positively contributing to the clean environment of Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria’s annual diesel importation is the same as the natural gas being flared. “We know that Diesel imports are US Dollar dependent, hence increasing the cost of fuel and decreasing the country’s scarce forex reserves,’’.
‘‘We believe that if all of Nigeria’s gas flare is captured and processed, it can power up to 200,000 city buses (public transport) or 200,000 trucks (commercial transport), or even double Nigeria’s power generation capacity, while significantly improving the quality of the air (lower carbon & particulate emissions).
In his keynote speech, the CEO ETEFA GmbH, Johann Rieger, explained that CEST Program’s targets include improving environmental and health conditions by reduction of emissions, lowering the cost of public and commercial transportation, while fostering local talent employment with technology transfer and strategic knowledge sharing.
According to Rieger, in order to show the full potential of the economies of the CNG city buses, ETEFA together with leading European partners developed a high quality 12-meter CNG City Bus prototype for the special needs and infrastructure requirements in Nigeria. The prototype is currently built, and local testing shall start with strategic local partners mid-2019.
He explained that Powergas will provide all the necessary infrastructure for supply of flare gas based CNG and ETEFA will supply highly efficient gas engines and associated technology.
The buses, he said, will especially fulfil Euro 5 / EEV emission standards and European norms in economics and sustainability with a targeted lifespan of a minimum of 15 years, low operating costs and costs of investment close to the level of Chinese buses.
‘‘ETEFA is ready to support local manufacturers with transfer of technology to manufacture this world class buses in future under license directly in Nigeria. Depending on test results and respective orders, local serial production could be started by one of the well-established car manufacturers in Nigeria already in 2020.
This will create additionally hundreds of high skilled working places in manufacturing and maintenance of buses, and support local partners to build a sustainable, cost efficient and clean transportation platform in the country and dramatically reduce damages to the local environment and health of people,’’ he assured.