Powergas Nigeria has struck a partnership with an Austrian clean tech company , ETEFA , to facilitate the conversion of city buses and trucks in Lagos and the Niger Delta to run on natural gas , as part of efforts to reduce gas flaring in the country .
The companies announced the alliance during a briefing on flare gas recovery in Nigeria organised with the support by the Austrian Development Agency and the Commercial Section of the Austrian Embassy in Nigeria .
They said gas flare monetisation projects could potentially save Nigeria over $2 .5 bn per year by reducing fuel costs in the transportation and power generation sectors by over 30 per cent .
According to a statement, Powergas will provide the necessary infrastructure for the CNG supply and ETEFA will supply gas engines and associated technology .
“Eventually, ETEFA intends to locally manufacture gas – fired buses , trucks and engines in Nigeria with its Nigerian partners ,” it said .
The Managing Director , Powergas Nigeria , Mr . Pulak Sen, said , “As a company , 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 compared with diesel generation and near -zero particulate matter . Today , Nigeria ’s annual diesel importation is the same as the natural gas being flared .”
According to Sen, Powergas has long been promoting natural gas as a preferable substitute to conventional liquid fuels , cleaner and cheaper than petrol or diesel , and offers both financial savings and environmental benefits .
“Powergas partners with Cummins Power Generation Nigeria , which is also championing cleaner gas -fired power generation. Cummins lean burn gas generators meet emission criteria in even the most environmentally sensitive areas including California and USA ,” he said .
The Chief Executive Officer, ETEFA GmbH, Mr . Johann Rieger, said , “The quality of the imported diesel , according to United Nations Environment Programme , hardly fulfils Euro 1 emission standards because of its high sulphur content .
“ Diesel imports are the US dollar -dependent ; hence , increasing the cost of fuel and decreasing the country ’s scarce foreign exchange reserves . ”
With reserves of 188 Trillion cubic feet , Nigeria had the largest gas reserves in Africa , Rieger noted .
“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 flared gas into natural gas , along with other by -products such as propane , butane and the LPG ,” he added .
According to him , If all of the gas being flared in Nigeria 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 ) .
Rieger said , “In other words , recovery and utilisation of flared 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 will significantly lower ticket prices for passengers . This will especially have a positive impact on the lower income populace who spend up to 40 per cent of their monthly income on public transport. ”