By Gilbert Ekugbe
“THE introduction of the gas-fired city buses is expected to save Nigeria over US$ 2.5 billion per year by reducing fuels costs in the transportation and power generation sector by over 30 per cent.
The General Manager, Powergas, Sumeet Singh, stated this at a cocktail dinner to introduce new investment and technology transfer opportunities, organised by Austrian Embassy in Lagos.
“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), ” he said.
He reiterated the company’s commitment to positively contributing to the clean environment of Nigeria.
” 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.
“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 said.
He said natural gas on the other hand is one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources, stressing that with abundant reserves of 188 tcf (Trillion Cubic Feet), Nigeria has the largest gas reserves in Africa.
Volume of Trade hits $255m
The Commercial Counselor, Austrian Embassy, Guido Stock, disclosed that the trade relationship between both countries is heavily in favour of Nigeria due to Austria’s high dependence of crude oil import from Nigeria.
“The volume of trade between both countries fluctuates a lot because it depends on how much oil we buy on annual basis from Nigeria. Export from Austria to Nigeria is about $55 million while from Nigeria we import $200 million of crude oil.”
On the investment and technology, the Commercial Counselor explained that if well implemented , it will help Nigeria economise the usage of energy while also reducing the level of accidents on Nigerian roads.
“We have two projects one is the usage of gas as a power source for vehicles, this will drastically reduce the nation’s dependence on diesel, reduce emissions because gas is much cleaner than diesel while also saving foreign exchange and protecting the environment.
“The project is already being implemented, but I hope we gain speed.
“The second project is the drivers training, we are looking at ways of training drivers for safety in a bid to reduce the rate of accidents on the Nigerian roads,” he said