CNG: NBC seeks more investment in filling stations to deepen penetration

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By Adewale Sanyaolu

To deepen the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Plc, has called for more investments in CNG plants across the country.

Managing Director, NBC Limited, Matthieu  Seguin,  stated this during a media tour of its Ikeja Lagos plant at the weekend.

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He said the unavailability of CNG filling stations across the country was impeding the smooth transition of some its trucks from Diesel to CNG.

The NBC boss noted that the trucks currently running on CNG  are restricted, as attempts to go further beyond designated locations will lead to crisis in the distribution channel because  such trucks will unable to return to their take off location. At the moment, there are no widespread CNG plants available for refilling purposes. 

Already, he said, the company has 10 CNG trucks under its pilot scheme but plans to increase the number in its fleets as soon as more CNG filling stations come on board.

The Company also announced it has embarked on a fleet conversion project trial, in which Diesel-powered trucks are replaced with CNG powered trucks. With ten of such trucks already injected into its fleet, the initiative has resulted in cumulative CO2 emission savings of 17 tons every month.

Also speaking, Country Logistics Director, NBC, Augustine Odumu, said a truck powered by CNG cannot travel beyond 500 kilometers because it will need to refill.

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He added that currently, there are only three CNG filling stations located in Mowe on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Benin in Edo State and Ajaokuta in Kogi State.

He said the company is collaborating with other players in the industry to know exactly what they are doing in the CNG space, saying for now, NBC CNG trucks only shuttles between Lagos and its plant in Asejiri, in Ibadan.

‘‘Only recently, one of our trucks made the mistake of going to Ilorin in Kwara State and it got stucked. As we speak now the truck is still in that location because it cannot refill.”

He added that the Federal should ensure that it deepens its gas master plan policy so as to help the country’s industralisation target.

Seguin, further disclosed that the Company has made significant investments in optimising its energy mix to incorporate more renewable energy sources.

“As a business, we have made an uncompromising commitment to minimize our environmental footprint whilst enriching the communities where we operate. It is clear that one of the major challenges facing sustainable manufacturing is Carbon emissions from non-renewable energy sources.