A major leap in ongoing efforts at providing gas as alternative automobile fuel was taken on June 10, 2013 in Lagos, when Sagas Energy Company Limited, the pivot of the new technology in Africa, began the conversion of heavy-duty trucks for use of gas as fuel.
Of the 5000 trucks belonging to Dantrans, the haulage arm of the Dangote Group scheduled for conversion, about 200 have been successfully converted to the new system. This will enable them to run on both gas and diesel (dual fuel usage). Diesel fuel expenses represent a significant cost centre affecting the bottom line of most organizations. Many organizations are not able to control fuel inventory resulting in attendant operational losses and theft.”
The ceremony, which was witnessed by top officials of Sagas, Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) and the partnering Prins Autogas West Africa Limited, was in furtherance of the execution of a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) signed three months ago between Sagas and the NGC.
Under the arrangement, the NGC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to exclusively supply Sagas compressed natural gas (CNG) for 20 years, while Sagas converts PMS and diesel engine vehicles with kits to adapt the engines to the use of gas as obtained elsewhere outside the continent.
Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Sagas Energy Company Limited, Henry Van Tienen, explained that the conversion was a novel technology in Africa, adding that the use of gas either as alternative fuel or a mixed blend with diesel has several advantages. He said Sagas would source gas from the NGC through its vast network of pipelines and compress it to a cheaper, cleaner and sustainable alternative fuel or dual fuel, for profitable business.
The COO further said the new technology would help in conserving fuel as well as promoting a cleaner environment. He expressed the confidence that Nigerians would embrace the new technology, which he described as safe, convenient, cheaper and more efficient than the traditional fuel. According to him, conversion centers would be established at various points across the federation through accredited dealers.
In his remarks, Chairman of Sagas, Sani Dangote, expressed happiness at the commencement of the initiative, adding that the ceremony was meant to demonstrate to the public the company’s capability to deliver on its promise.
He disclosed that 5,000 trucks would be converted within a year and that the kit to convert 1,000 is already on ground. He advised commercial vehicle owners as well as industrial and private owners to avail themselves of the benefits of the new technology.
“We already have some of these centers in operation now. We have commenced the training of engineers and other technicians that would undertake the conversion. Our partners are here to put them through.”
He described the technology as another job creation venture saying it holds bright prospects for Nigerians as its use becomes more popular.
Similarly, the Managing Director of NGC, Engr. Saidu Mohammed described the agreement as part of the gas revolution agenda of the federal government saying the nation has enough gas to drive the project.
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