By Ejiofor Alike
In line with the ongoing global efforts to minimise greenhouse gas emission and environmental pollution associated with the use of fossil fuels, Green Grass Limited has moved to boost the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as auto fuel.
Green Grass Limited (GGL) is a joint venture between the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and NIPCO Plc.
Speaking at a recent Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, the Managing Director of NIPCO Plc, Mr. Venkataraman Venkatapathy, said the increasing interest of stakeholders in compressed natural gas is a pointer to the fact that CNG campaign is eliciting positive response.
Venkatapathy, who is also a director of GGL, noted that CNG was fast becoming the preferred auto fuel in developed and developing countries in view of its attendant benefits.
He disclosed that GGL had built six CNG stations in Benin, Edo State and two kits fitment workshop, while six other stations were under constructions in other states of the federation.
Also in anticipation of more motorists converting their vehicles to use CNG, the NIPCO boss stated that GGL had embarked on the building of more outlets to meet the expected high demand.
He noted that with over 14million vehicles running on CNG worldwide and the projection of 20million by the year 2020, Nigeria could also use her existing natural gas resources to develop a programme of action for the use of CNG.
According to him, the CNG scheme offers dual fuel option to users by providing flexibility of running a vehicle either on CNG or on petrol, simply by flicking a switch installed on the dashboard.
He explained that at the CNG workshops, experienced fitment personnel work diligently to ensure a seamless conversion of liquid fuels vehicles to compressed natural gas - powered ones.
“Our CNG team has also successfully converted Edo State Government buses to run on CNG and diesel on a hybrid saving 50per cent of the fuel cost for the state run company” ,he said.
He stated that the company had also completed laying of over 40 kilometers of gas pipeline to supply Piped Natural Gas (PNG) to commercial and industrial companies along the Benin-Warri Highway.
Venkatapathy disclosed that the use of CNG as vehicular fuel was cheaper than petrol by over 60per cent and by over 70per cent in the case of diesel.
He noted that CNG powered vehicles also had lower maintenance costs due to the absence of any Lead in the product, adding that this also eliminated the need for frequent cleaning of spark plugs .
According to him, refueling is very safe as the cylinder is made from a special steel alloy with no wielded joints, adding that at the workshop every cylinder is tested to meet international standards before being installed.