What is CNG?
Compressed natural gas (CNG), is a fuel that can be used in place of petrol, diesel fuel, and liquefied petroleum gas. CNG combustion produces fewer undesirable gases than the aforementioned fuels. A lot of cars are turning to CNG for various reasons, but mostly for efficiency and cleaner air. Electric vehicles are definitely a tough contender to CNG but overall, CNG remains a formidable opponent here’s why.
CNG is used in traditional petrol/internal combustion engine automobiles that have been modified, or in vehicles specifically manufactured for CNG use; either alone (dedicated), with a segregated petrol system to extend range (dual fuel), or in conjunction with another fuel such as diesel (bi-fuel). This multifaceted approach to its use makes it even more versatile.
Increasing Global warming and carbon emission levels have made the need for cleaner fuels more imperative than ever.
Economic concerns in rising fuel costs have also been a contributing factor as to why CNG is starting to be used also in commercial vehicles and other modes of transportation such as Auto-Rickshaws, pickup trucks, transit, and school buses, and trains.
Nigeria and CNG
CNG started with a pilot project in Benin City, Edo State in 2010 by Nipco Gas Ltd. Nipco Gas Ltd is a 100% subsidiary of NIPCO PLC. As of June 2020, about seven CNG stations have been built in Benin City with about 7,500 cars running on CNG. Including major companies such as Coca-Cola, 7up, Yongxing Steel. They all use CNG to power their fork-lifts/trucks while Edo City Transport Ltd (ECTS) is also running some of its buses on CNG. In Kwale, Nigeria CNG stations were inaugurated by Mr. Abhishek Sharma, the head of marketing (Natural Gas) from Nipco Gas Plc in 2019.
The MD of NIPCO stated that the CNG revolution incorporates the latest compression and vehicle conversion technologies, offering an accessible domestic fuel alternative for motorists to power their vehicles with natural gas.ngvglobal.com
In Africa however, Egypt is amongst the top 10 countries in CNG adoption, with 128,754 CNG vehicles and 124 CNG fueling stations. Egypt was also the first nation in Africa and the Middle East to open a public CNG fueling station in January 1996. The vast majority of 780000 have been produced as dual-fuel vehicles by the auto manufacturer in the last two years, and the remainder has been converted utilizing aftermarket conversion kits in workshops. There are 750 active refueling stations countrywide with an additional 660 refueling stations under construction and expected to come on stream.
Currently, the major problem facing the industry as a whole is the building of refueling stations that is lagging behind dual-fuel vehicle production, forcing many to use petrol instead. For countries like Nigeria who are coming of age in the industry, the idea that CNG will be a more economical way to power vehicles and maintain fewer carbon emissions on the road should propel the market and desire to convert more petrol engines to CNG.
The cost and placement of fuel storage containers have also been a major barrier to wider/quicker adoption of CNG as a fuel. This is why the municipal government and public transportation vehicles in other countries who adopted CNG early on were the most visible early adopters of it, as they could more quickly amortize the money invested in the new (and usually cheaper) fuel. In spite of these circumstances, the number of vehicles in the world using CNG has grown steadily (30 percent per year). Now, as a result of the industry’s steady growth, the cost of such fuel storage cylinders has been brought down to a much more acceptable level. Especially for the CNG Type 1 and Type 2 cylinders, many countries are able to make reliable and cost-effective cylinders for conversion needs.
How to Fuel your CNG car
In Nigeria, NIPCO has encouraged technology transfer within its project scope especially in the realm of compressed natural gas operations with all its CNG stations fully manned and maintained by Nigerians. ‘
With the ever-increasing poverty line growing and disparities between the rich and the poor, CNG once nationwide will be a very welcoming change to the pollution in the country as well as create a more cost-effective option for the many who rely on public transportation and or personal vehicles to get around and commute to and from work. It would also mean that commercial transport vehicle owners, no longer have to lament about the high fuel costs and can begin to have better profit margins. With the Reduction of the carbon footprint for the nation that loves cars, Nigeria will be impacted positively too.
Currently, there are eight CNG stations in Benin, Edo State, and Ibafo, Ogun State along with four CNG workshops.
For more information on CNG car kits and engine conversions, Lussoautos.com provides links to reputable suppliers and stockists. Email us and subscribe for all the latest news on CNG for the Nigerian market as well as lifestyle and automotive news.