The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has pledged to support ongoing initiatives by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to provide alternate energy source to Nigerians through aggressive activation of Compressed Natural Gas, CNG, refill stations for motorists across the country.

The NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari in a statement on Sunday said that the national oil company had already keyed into the gas penetration agenda as championed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.

Kyari stated that NNPC as an energy company with focus on cleaner and cheaper sources of fuel would continue to work with other stakeholders in the industry to provide viable alternatives to petrol which would ultimately lead to reduction in demand for the product and eventual reduction in price.

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Reiterating the corporation’s commitment towards openness and greater transparency in its operations, NNPC boss hinted that in the months ahead, NNPC would make public its 2019 Audited Financial Statements as a sequel to the 2018 AFS released in June.

On the status of the nation’s refineries, Kyari noted that the plants were deliberately shut down to allow for a robust diagnosis of the issues which have overtime made it impossible for the facilities to operate up to their name plate capacity.

He explained that shutting the facilities down became inevitable due to difficulties in feeding them with crude oil via the pipelines that have been completely compromised by vandals.

However, he hinted that the corporation was moving rapidly to execute complete rehabilitation of the refineries under an exercise that would guarantee restoration of the facilities to at least 90 per cent capacity utilization. Announcing its autogas initiative, the Federal Government said that some select filling stations across the country will begin to dispense autogas to automobiles before the end of September.

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According to the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, autogas to be dispensed into automobiles and other prime movers include; Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas, depending on the type of vehicle.

It stated that the Committee on National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) had been assigned to ensure the effective implementation and take-off of this initiative.

The NGEP was inaugurated in January this year by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, in furtherance of the domestic gas expansion programme of the Federal Government.

The NGEP is expected to promote gas as replacement fuel and also save the nation the much-needed foreign exchange expended on imported fuels by providing alternatives to petrol, diesel and kerosene.

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According to the FG, the selected filling stations across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory had been informed, as plans to collocate autogas dispensing facilities at the outlets had reached advanced stages.

“Consequently, plans have reached advanced stage in line with ministerial directive and support for the development of LPG, CNG and LNG collocation in NNPC-owned and operated mega stations in the 36 states and the FCT.

“Under this arrangement, retail outlets will offer a full complement of gas products as transportation fuels in addition to existing white products as cheaper, cleaner and more environmentally friendly alternatives,” it said.

By Peace Obi

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