A NEED TO CONVERT DIESEL ENGINE TO CNG GAS ENGINES IN NIGERIA

It is no longer news that the price of Automotive Gas Oil (Ago) also known as diesel has gone up in a geometric progression in the last six months from around N250 to N850 in the month of June,2022 that is a whopping 29.41% in less than six months! This increase is not only a domestic issue but a global problem which was made worse by the Russian-Ukraine war. This situation has deeply affected the global and local supply chain activities. It has destroyed global economy and made many countries fall into recessions that has never being seen in decades. The inflation figures continue to skyrocket and to make matters worse for Nigerians it has affected the supply of petrol which has presently resulted to petrol scarcity in the major cities. The future doesn’t seen bright as it is projected that diesel is likely to be sold between N1200 -N1500 in 2 weeks (first week of July, 2022) since the product has been deregulated for some years now. We do not need a soothsayer to inform us that the economy will deep into a recession with implication that will go far beyond what we can imagine, millions of people will no doubt be added into the poverty pool. Let us spare ourselves of the headache of petrol subsidy gulping over N1.2 trillion monthly with an estimate of N600/liter and also the inability to have a working refinery that is operational and sustainable. Even Aliko Dangote who was bold enough to build a privately owned petroleum refinery is looking for ways to covert his trucks into the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). It is on this basis that we need to be proactive towards converting trucks in Nigeria into a CNG powered engine.

What is Compressed Natural Gas (CNG )? CNG is a mixture of hydrocarbons consisting of approximately 80 to 90 percent methane in gaseous form. Due to its low energy density, it is compressed to pressure of 200 to 250 Kg/cm2 (to enhance the vehicle on-board storage in a cylinder), hence the name Compressed Natural Gas. Commonly referred to as the green fuel because of its lead and sulphur free character hence reduces harmful emissions. Being non-corrosive, it enhances the longevity of spark plugs. Another notable thing is the ignition point of CNG is 540 °C, that is almost double the ignition point of petrol or diesel. The gas is also very less likely to light up in the air in case of a leak.

Let me give you some few reasons why its important to covert your diesel engine to the CNG powered.

  1. It is cheaper than petrol and diesel- As at Q3 2021 CNG per cubic metre costs between N100 and N110 per standard cubic meter (the equivalent of a litre) which makes it far cheaper than both petrol (N200) and diesel (N850).
  2. It will eliminate the stealing of fuel — For those who are very active in the haulage industry, you will agree with me that truck diesel on way or the other find ways to steal or short change the owner when it comes to diesel. This is because they already have a black market to sell the product Once the truck engine is covert it will eliminate this logistical headache and give power back to the owners in terms of more revenue generation.
  3. It will make your engine last longer — The major problem that caused truck engine problem in Nigeria is due to bad diesel that are sold in filling stations and the black market. Such conversion will help truck owners save money that should be been used to repair injectors, nozzles and other engine related problems.
  4. It is environmentally friendly — Due to its lead and sulphur free character, it reduces harmful emissions to the environment hence very friendly environmentally.
  5. It covers more mileage per KM — Unlike the Diesel (17KM/L) and Petrol (15Km/L), CNG covers 21KM/KG (source www.cartrade.com). This data was based on experiment done using cars. This data can also be applicable to trucks but with less KM coverage based on each fuel type.
  6. The CNG cylinder is also stronger and sturdier than a petrol tank — It is believed that CNG fuel tanks have a useful life of 15 to 20 years.

It is important that the Government of Nigeria should have a deliberate policy and master plan in the CNG ecosystem. There is need to give private investors the license to set up as many CNG re-filling stations across the six geo-political zones for easy access and employment generation. There is a need to incentivize the sector to attract as many investors as possible in the entire value chain of the CNG conversion industry and supply chain.

I think this is the best time to take this decision so that you can cost down the cost of fueling your truck, track and have accurate data of your fuel expenses and consumption and final;y to be able to contribute towards a greener environment.

Thank you for your time as always.

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