Flare Gas Monetisation to Save Nigeria $2.5bn Yearly


Ejiofor Alike
The Managing Director of Powergas Nigeria, Mr Pulak Sen has stated that gas flare monetisation projects can potentially save Nigeria over $ 2.5 billion per year by reducing fuels costs in transportation and power generation sectors by over 30 per cent.

This is coming as Powergas and an Austrian green tech company, European Technologies for Africa (ETEFA), have struck a partnership deal to embark on a project under the Clean and Environmentally Sustainable Transportation (CEST) programme for the refurbishment and conversion of city buses and trucks in Lagos and Niger Delta from diesel to gas.

Speaking on ‘Strategic Alliance for Flare Gas Recovery in Nigeria’ with focus on efficient and reliable transport solutions, at a press briefing organised in Lagos at the weekend by both companies in conjunction with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the Powergas boss stated that the company was committed to positively contributing to the clean environment of Nigeria.

According to him, Powergas is committed to providing an environmentally friendly fuel source to spur economic growth and industrialisation in conjunction with reducing the carbon footprint.
“We believe that Natural gas fired power generation emits up to five times less nitrogen oxides comparable to diesel generation and near-zero particulate matter. Today, Nigeria’s annual diesel importation is the same as the natural gas being flared,” Sen said.

“Powergas has long been promoting natural gas as a preferable substitute to conventional liquid fuels. Being cleaner and cheaper than petrol or diesel, natural gas offers both financial savings and environmental benefits. Powergas’ partners with Cummins Power Generation Nigeria who are also championing for cleaner gas fired power generation. Cummins lean burn gas generators meet emission criteria in even the most environmentally sensitive areas including California, USA,” Sen explained.

In his speech, the Chief Executive Officer, ETEFA GmbH, Mr Johann Rieger, emphasised on the need for Nigeria to tap into the huge benefits of natural gas which he described as the most friendly energy source, noting that the country has an abundance of 188 trillion cubic feet.

“Nigeria has the largest gas reserves in Africa. As a domestically available natural resource, effective utilisation is extremely important for import substitution (of liquid fuels) and forex savings. Gas Flare Reduction Programme sponsored Projects can clean and process flare gas into Natural Gas, along with other by-products like Propane, Butane, LPG, etc,” Rieger said.

According to him, “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 and particulate emissions.

“In other words, recovery and utilisation of flare gas will contribute positively to the Nigerian economy by bringing down fuel and energy costs – which will have a trickle-down effect on food prices, transportation costs and ultimately rein in inflation. And the good news is that with the available gas reserves, it is still not too late. The introduction of gas-fired city buses for public transport would significantly lower ticket prices for passengers. This would especially have a positive impact on the lower income populace who spend up to 40 per cent of their monthly income on public transport,” he added.

Under the partnership, Powergas will provide the necessary infrastructure for CNG Supply while ETEFA will supply highly efficient gas engines and associated technology and intends to locally manufacture gas-fired buses, trucks and engines in Nigeria with its Nigerian partners.