* No better time than now to optimise the gas in Nigeria – Expert
By Nudoiba Ojen
The Federal Government has taken a step to increase the number of autogas plants under construction in the country as part of efforts to hasten the transition from petrol to Compressed Natural Gas for vehicles.
The government on Tuesday issued an Approval To Construct licence to Noretek Energy Limited for the construction of 500 metric tonnes autogas plant in Abuja.
The government, which said that the licence would see to the establishment of two gas plants in Abuja, said that similar facilities were currently being constructed in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
The Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Ogbugo Ukoha, said, “The authority is presenting an Approval To Construct a 500MT Liquefied Petroleum Gas depot to Noretek Energy Limited and this will be constructed in Gwagwalada, Abuja,”
Ukoha, who spoke during the ATC presentation in Abuja, said, “There is no better time than now for the optimisation of the gas that we have. Nigeria has more than 209 trillion cubic feet of gas.
“The government has also designated gas as the transition fuel for the country. More importantly is the fact that Mr President has given a fresh impetus to this optimisation, both by deregulating the PMS market and prioritising the utilisation of gas.”
Ukoha, who said there are a number of gas projects at different stages of completion, said, “In Apapa (Lagos), there is a big one and we are looking forward to inaugurating it in the fourth quarter of this year, or the first quarter of next year.
“In Port Harcourt, there is a big one as well, and even in Abuja here, at Idu, the same operator at Port Harcourt is also doing something big in Idu, but today we are celebrating Noretek and it is 500MT,” he remarked.
The Managing Director of Noretek Energy Limited, Edward Traore, said the launching of the 500MT LPG storage depot marked the first step of the proverbial 1000-mile journey.
“This initial installation lays the foundation for our planned expansion of LPG autogas services and infrastructure across the region as a central element of our long-term objectives.
“Autogas is a key component of our investment plan, and presents a viable, eco-friendly alternative to traditional fuels, providing both economic and environmental benefits,” he further said.
He noted that the firm aimed to spearhead initiatives in CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) refuelling infrastructure and CNG conversion technology solutions.
“These additions aim to provide a reliable and sustainable energy supply to meet the escalating demand in the region,” Traore stated.