The Clean &Environmentally Sustainable Transportation (CEST) Program under the Gas Flare Monetization Projects, a strategic alliance between Nigeria’s biggest Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) distributor and pioneer in “Virtual Gas Pipeline Supply”, POWERGAS, and the Austrian clean tech company ETEFA have introduce gas-fired city buses for public transport.
The introduction of the gas-fired city buses and trucks is expected to save Nigeria over US$ 2.5 billion per year by reducing fuels costs by over 30%.
This was revealed during the ETEFA and Powergas Nigeria press briefing in the Austrian Embassy, supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) in Lagos.
Natural Gas Flaring is one of the biggest environmental disasters of Nigeria. Annually over 7 billion Standard Cubic Meter (SCM) of Natural Gas is being flared in Nigeria, leading to casualties of up to 2,500 individuals in the Niger Delta Region (due to gas flare related pollution & emissions). Gas flare emissions are contributing to 20% of the entire Greenhouse Gases (GHG) of the country and are causing a massive waste of energy and financial resources.
Sumeet Singh, GM of Powergas, reiterated the company’s commitment to positively contributing to the clean environment of Nigeria. According to him, 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.”
Natural Gas on the other hand is one of the most environmentally friendly energy sources and a domestically available natural resource. Nigeria has the largest gas reserves in Africa.
Gas Flare Reduction Program sponsored projects can clean and process flare gas into Natural Gas, along with other by-products like Propane, Butane, LPG, etc. If all of Nigeria’s Gas Flare is captured and processed – it can power up to 200,000 big city buses orheavy-duty trucks.
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% of their monthly income on public transport.
In order to show the full potential of the economies of the CNG city buses, ETEFA developed together with leading European partners a high quality 12-meter CNG City Bus prototype (Euro 5) for the special needs and infrastructure requirements in Nigeria. The prototype is currently built, and local testing shall start with strategic local partners mid-2019. The bus will especially European norms in economics and sustainability with a targeted lifespan of a minimum of 15 years, low operating costs and costs of investment close to the level of Chinese buses.
Powergas will provide all the necessary infrastructure for supply of flare gas based CNG and ETEFA will supply highly efficient gas engines and associated technology.
According to Johann Rieger, CEO of ETEFA, the company is ready to support local manufacturers with transfer of technology to manufacture this world class buses in future under license directly in Nigeria. Depending on test results and respective orders, local serial production could be started by one of the well-established car manufacturers in Nigeria already in 2020.
This will create additionally hundreds of high skilled working places in manufacturing and maintenance of buses, and support local partners to build a sustainable, cost efficient and clean transportation platform in the country and dramatically reduce damages to the local environment and health of people.